Legislative Update

From the category archives: Government Affairs

Government Affairs

ABC Voters' Guide 2017

As many of you know election season is here again! By now most of you have received your primary ballots in the mail. Before voting ABC encourages its members to learn more about the candidates. With local council positions, judgeships and special state elections up this year, ABC cannot stress enough the importance of voting. Make sure to turn in your ballot by August 1st and please remind friends and family as well. ABC has endorsed the following candidates in this year’s election. Please feel free to call (509) 534-0826 with any questions or for more information about any of these candidates. Spokane City Council: District 2: Andy Dunau: “Together, we can build an environment that welcomes business, assures public safety, and protects our natural wonders without new taxes.” Tony Kiepe: "Less government regulation means small businesses can operate on their terms not the City Council’s. City Council needs to stop adding burdensome regulations that harm the econo ... Read the rest of entry »

Senate Releases Draft of ACA Replacement Bill

On June 22, 2017, Republicans in the U.S. Senate released a draft of their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). If the bill passes the Senate, it would need to go back to the House for approval before being signed into law by President Donald Trump. The Senate Republicans were pushing for a vote before the July 4 recess but indicated they needed more time.

Click here to view the ACA Compliance Bulletin which outlines the similarities and differences between the House proposal and American Health Care Act (AHCA). Updates will be added to the site as they become available.

Missouri Governor Signs ABC-supported Law to Protect Taxpayers, Construction Industry from Project Labor Agreement Mandates; ABC Urges Federal Action

WASHINGTON, May, 30–Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today applauded Gov. Eric Greitens (R-Mo.) for signing legislation into law that will promote fair and open competition on contracts for construction services funded by Missouri taxpayers. SB 182 ensures controversial project labor agreements (PLAs) cannot be mandated by the government on state, state-assisted and local construction projects, guaranteeing that the almost three out of four members of Missouri’s private construction workforce who have chosen not to join a labor union can fairly compete to work on projects funded by their own tax dollars. “Taxpayers cannot receive the best product at the best price from responsible contractors when government caters to special interests by mandating PLAs, which steer contracts to unionized firms. This creates a labor monopoly for unionized workers, who make up about a quarter of Missouri’s private construction workforce and just 14 percent of the construction industry nati ... Read the rest of entry »

Blocking Illegal 'Blacklisting' Rule Is a Win for Contractors, Taxpayers and the American Workforce.

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today applauded the U.S. Senate for joining the U.S. House of Representatives in passing legislation (H.J. Res. 37) that will block implementation of the Obama administration’s controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673, commonly referred to as “blacklisting,” through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). “Associated Builders and Contractors commends Congress for taking action to free the contracting community and taxpayers from the disastrous effects of the Obama administration’s illegal blacklisting rule," said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “Since first proposed as an executive order, ABC has led the fight against this policy—which a U.S. District Court correctly ruled would violate federal contractors’ due process rights by treating non-adjudicated and often nefarious and frivolous claims of violations the same as actual ... Read the rest of entry »

Legislation to Block ‘Blacklisting’ Rule Will Protect Contractors’ Rights, ABC Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. Feb. 2– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation (H. J. Res. 37) that will block implementation of the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673, commonly referred to as “blacklisting,” through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Implementation of the blacklisting rule’s reporting and disclosure requirements was temporarily blocked on Oct. 24, 2016, when a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Texas ruled in favor of ABC’s lawsuit and granted a preliminary injunction against the reporting provisions of the rule, which were scheduled to take effect Oct. 25, 2016. Under the CRA, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prohibit a federal agency from implementing a rule without congressional authorization with a majority vote in both houses of Congress. If President Trump signs the CRA resolution into law, it will block the bl ... Read the rest of entry »

GOP Members Offer Resolution to Repeal 'Blacklisting' Labor Rule

January 30, 2017 - Republicans in the House and Senate took the first steps Monday to repeal a labor regulation from the Obama administration that requires all federal contractors bidding on contracts over $500,000 to report any labor law violations they’ve had in the last three years. Reps. Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Steve Chabot (Ohio) and Paul Mitchell (Mich.), along with Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), issued a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the labor regulation that opponents have dubbed the "blacklisting rule.” The CRA gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to repeal a rule through a resolution after it's been finalized. The rule, finalized in August, requires prospective contractors to disclose any violation of the 14 basic workplace protections, including wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections. In October, a fed ... Read the rest of entry »

2017 Update; ABC's Fight Against Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements

January 11, 2017 - In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost on a case-by-case basis. Many merit shop advocates of fair and open competition predicted the order would steer billions of dollars’ worth of federal construction contracts to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces—without true competition from qualified merit shop contractors and their nonunion employees, who compose 86.1 percent of the U.S. construction workforce. Industry experts feared the executive order would result in taxpayers needlessly paying nearly 20 percent more per federal contract procured with a PLA requirement. Faced with finite building budgets, it would generate less building and create fewer jobs for the experienced men and women employed by merit shop contractors who deliver projects safely, on time and on budget every day to the ... Read the rest of entry »

WSIA's 2017 Legislative Preview

This past Monday, January 9th kicked off the 2017 session of the Washington State Legislature, and now in this first week it's time once again to preview what big picture issues are coming in Olympia, and where policy related to workers' compensation and workplace safety might in. Big Picture Issues According to Governor Jay Inslee and leaders from both the state House and Senate at a preview forum on the eve of session, the top issue before the Legislature this year is public school funding and a battle over the amount of tax revenue necessary to meet court-mandated funding goals. Depending whether you tally it in the short term or longer term, Governor Inslee is proposing four to eight billion dollars in new taxes to fund increases in education spending over the next four to eight years, a new tax burden that falls predominately on the business community and investors, through increased Business & Occupations taxes on certain sectors, elimination of preferential rates for other sectors, a ... Read the rest of entry »

Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Blacklisting Final Rule

On Aug. 24, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued the final rule on blacklisting (also known as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673, issued July 2014) that will require federal contractors and subcontractors to disclose any "violations" of 14 federal labor laws and OSHA-approved state plans to the federal government before being awarded federal contracts covered by this rule.  The rule was accompanied by a guidance document issued by the DOL and a White House amendment to Executive Order 13673. ABC issued a press release slamming the final blacklisting rule immediately afterward.
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Overtime Rule Goes Into Effect Dec. 1

On May 18, the DOL released the final overtime rule, which will change federal exemptions to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for administrative, executive and professional employees, the so-called "white collar" worker classifications that have long been exempt from time-and-one-half pay for working more than 40 hours per week. The DOL's final rule will affect both public and private work by all employers that are covered under the FLSA. Specifically, the rule doubles the current minimum standard salary level for exemption from $23,660 to $47,476 annually. It also increases the highly compensated employees (HCE) to an annual compensation of $134,000. DOL made no changes to the standard duties test.
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