Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org February 21, 2019
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On the Inside
Environment
Tell the EPA You Support Clear & Limited Federal Water Permitting Guidelines
Government Funding
Border Wall National Emergency Declaration
AGC Analysis of FY 2019 Federal Construction Accounts
Tax
AGC Supports Bipartisan Tax-Repeal Legislation
Trade
AGC Supports USMCA Trade Deal
Regulations
New FAA Drone Registration Display Rule
Events
WebEd: Dealing with Frivolous Underground Utility Damage Claims and Collections
Register Now for the Inaugural AGC Construction HR Summit
Environment
Tell the EPA You Support Clear & Limited Federal Water Permitting Guidelines
 
Over the decades, determining where federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction lies has added regulatory uncertainty, delay, and cost to construction projects throughout the nation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently proposed “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule will help construction projects move forward in a timelier manner, clearly limit federal jurisdiction over water and wetlands, and continue to protect our nation’s clean water. Please contact the EPA today to let them know that you support clear federal clean water permitting guidelines. 

For more information contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5415.
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Government Funding
Border Wall National Emergency Declaration
AGC Highlights Concerns with Redirecting Construction Funds
 
On Feb. 15, the president issued a national emergency declaration to redirect approximately $6.7 billion towards the construction of barriers along the southern border.  Redirected funds include: $2.5 billion from Department of Defense (DOD) counterdrug activities; nearly $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund; and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.  As of publication, neither the White House nor any federal agency has identified specific military construction projects—or any other specific federal construction projects for that matter—that would see funds redirected to construction along the southern border. AGC urged Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan to avoid redirecting funds from long-anticipated or active construction contract solicitations and ensure fair and open competition rules remain in place for any contracts utilizing redirected funds.
 
To date, 16 states have filed suit against the President asking courts to invalidate the order. Democratic members in the House and Senate have declared their intent to introduce a resolution of disapproval that would invalidate the declaration.  If the resolution passes both chambers, the Administration has singled that the president would veto it. AGC will continue to monitor this emergency declaration as more developments occur and will further review.
 
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
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AGC Analysis of FY 2019 Federal Construction Accounts
 
On Feb. 15, Congress approved funding for those federal agencies previously operating under a continuing resolution—including the Department of Transportation, General Services Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, among others. This legislation, coupled with previously passed fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bills, provides annual funding to all agencies of the federal government through September 30, 2019. Overall, federal construction accounts saw about a two percent increase—or $4.5 billion—in funding in comparison to FY 2018 funding levels. A full AGC analysis of federal construction accounts for FY 2019 can be found here.  
 
For more information, contact Cory Gattie at cory.gattie@agc.org or (202) 547-4685.
 
 
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Tax
AGC Supports Bipartisan Tax-Repeal Legislation
ACA Taxes Continue to Plague Employee Benefits
 
On Feb. 19, AGC endorsed bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored coverage, known as the Cadillac tax, and a Senate-introduced bipartisan bill to repeal the health insurance tax (HIT). While the Cadillac tax was initially intended to target “high cost” employer-sponsored health coverage, it is now estimated to impact the vast majority of employee benefits plans and force employers to cut or limit employee benefits. The HIT is a direct tax on fully-insured carriers which is passed along to the customer – small and mid-size businesses and the millions of hardworking Americans and their families that are enrolled in this type of employment-based coverage. Read the letters of support here and here.
 
For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or 202-547-0133 or Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.
 
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Trade
AGC Supports USMCA Trade Deal
Calls on President to Lift Steel & Aluminum Tariffs
 
On Feb. 18, AGC notified the White House of its support for the new trade agreement among the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada (USMCA). That noted, the association also strongly urged the president to remove the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum as they apply to Canada and Mexico.  AGC looks forward to working with Congress to approve the USMCA, as this agreement will help ensure that trade impacting the construction industry supply chain remains free, fair, and certain.
 
For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325. 
 
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Regulations
New FAA Drone Registration Display Rule
Rule Takes Effect Feb. 25
 
On Feb. 13, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an interim final rule—taking effect on Feb. 25, 2019—requiring drone owners to display the FAA registration number on the external surface of a drone upon completion of the registration process. Drone owners are no longer permitted to enclose the registration number in a compartment.
 
For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325. 
 
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Events
WebEd: Dealing with Frivolous Underground Utility Damage Claims and Collections
February 26, 2019, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
 
Have you or your company ever received a claim for excavation damage to an underground utility that you weren't responsible for? Register today for this webinar which will review questionable tactics used by some facility owner/operators and their agents to collect on damages to their underground utilities and how to fight back.
 
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Register Now for the Inaugural AGC Construction HR Summit
April 4, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Denver
 
Are you a Construction HR professional looking to enhance the HR function at your company? Registration today to join your peers at the inaugural AGC HR Summit on April 4, 2019, in conjunction with the AGC of America Annual Convention in Denver (convention registration not required for HR Summit). 
 
The one-day HR Summit provides a forum for greater peer-to-peer learning and interaction by facilitating an intimate series of moderated roundtable discussions. Select topics are chosen in advance by the HR Forum Steering Committee, and participants will have the opportunity to bring up additional topics for group discussion. Participants will spend the day sharing first-hand experiences, best practices, and solutions to the challenges HR professionals in the construction industry are dealing with. 
 
See the details below to register and book your hotel accommodations.
 
AGC HR Summit 
  • WHO: HR Professionals with AGC Member firms
  • WHAT: Meeting format is an intimate series of moderated roundtable discussions, no formal presentations. Select hot topics will be chosen in advance by the HR Forum Steering Committee, with time allotted for participants to bring up additional topics.
  • WHEN: Thursday April 4, 2019 from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
  • WHERE: Meeting location is at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street Denver, CO 80202.
  • WHY: Learn and share best practices and solutions to the challenging issues that HR professionals in the construction industry are dealing with. Network with a group of knowledgeable industry peers that can serve as a resource throughout your career. 
  • HOW: Summit Registration: Click here to register. To ensure active discussion/participation, space for this meeting is very limited. The registration fee of $275 covers attendance and lunch. 
Hotel Registration: AGC has booked a room block at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center for $239 (plus tax and fees) per night.  Click here to book your hotel room online.
 
For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.
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