In January, NAVFAC Rear Admiral Kate Gregory sent AGC and all NAVFAC contractors a letter about her concerns for corporate construction safety given seven recent fatalities. Admiral Gregory requested AGC’s thoughts on means to improve safety on the jobsite.
Yesterday, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee held their second hearing as they look to complete a highway bill prior to the expiration of the current extension on May 31.
On Jan. 30, President Obama released new Executive Order 13690, “The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS),” as directed by the President’s Climate Action Plan. Notably, the order expands the definition of “floodplain” (higher flood elevation and expanded flood hazard areas) by creating a new national minimum standard that all federal agencies must use – and builders must follow – for all federally-approved or funded projects. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is soliciting public input on newly released “guidelines” that will instruct federal agencies on how to implement the new standard.
On Tuesday, President Obama vetoed a House- and Senate-passed bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The president claimed that the bill bypassed the State Department’s process of determining whether the project is in the national interest. According to the White House, once that determination is made, “there will not be a significant delay in announcing the results of that review and ultimately making a decision on the project.”
This week, a majority of the House sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) showing strong bipartisan support for passing a multiyear transportation reauthorization bill with a sustainable funding source. The letter – which was signed by nearly 300 members of the House – also calls for an end to the numerous short-term extensions of transportation authorization.
Contact your member of Congress Today, Rule to Take Effect April 14
The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule on representation-case procedures goes into effect on April 14, 2015. Known as the “quickie election” or “ambush election” rule, it would expedite the union representation election cycle to as few as 14 days from the union’s filing of a petition for an election. It is bad for both employers and employees. It would deny employers due process by limiting review of critical issues such as identifying the appropriate bargaining unit and voter eligibility potentially until after the vote is held. It would also limit workers’ access to information and provide inadequate time for workers to consider information about joining the union.
Recently, AGC sent two letters opposing the possible use of a project labor agreement (PLA) mandate posted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One letter addressed concerns about a possible PLA mandate for an intake diversion dam in Montana, while the other opposed consideration of PLAs within the Charleston District area of jurisdiction.
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to hear from economists and public policy professors on the context of comprehensive tax reform. Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asked witnesses about integrating corporate and individual income taxes into a single level of taxation. Ranking Member Wyden (D-Ore.) focused his questions on simplifying tax paperwork and funding for infrastructure. Expert witness Laura Tyson, who served as head of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, told the Finance panel that Congress should maintain accelerated depreciation, as well as others that “actually enhance new investments.”