Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

Federal Update 10/15/18

The House and Senate are both in recess through the election with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel striking a deal with Senate Democrats to confirm three circuit court and 12 district court judges, allowing Democratic Senators in tough re-elections campaigns to hit the trail back in their home states. OSHA Clarification on Drug Testing and Incentive Programs On Oct. 11, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a memorandum clarifying its position on workplace safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing included in the 2016 final rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses (also known as the Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule), issued under the Obama administration. ABC National plans to offer a webinar on the memo—details should be announced this week. Infrastructure Update: On Oct. 10, the U.S. Senate approved the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, a waterways infrastructure bill that requires reau ...

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Federal Update

The House remains in recess through the November midterm elections and the Senate returns tomorrow to proceed with the House-passed Water Infrastructure (WRDA) bill. The Senate is currently scheduled to remain in session until October 26th, but could leave town earlier if a deal is made to confirm additional presidential nominations and circuit court judges. Please feel free to reach out with any questions/concerns. Kavanaugh Confirmation: Ending what is widely seen as the most controversial and heavily scrutinized nomination process for a Supreme Court Justice, on Friday, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court with critical yes votes from Senators Collins, Flake, and Manchin, while a lone Republican no vote from Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The cloture vote limited debate on the nominee for 30 hours and a final vote of confirmation was held on Saturday, confirming Justice Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justi ...

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2018 ABC Voters Guide














Nonresidential Spending Reaches New High in August, Says ABC

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1— National nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.7 percent in August to its highest level since the U.S. Census Bureau began the data series in 2002, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis released today. Total nonresidential spending stood at $762.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in August, which represents an increase of 8.4 percent compared to one year ago. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.2 percent in August largely due to a 1.3 percent decline in power-related spending, the largest private construction spending category, and public nonresidential spending increased 2 percent. “The good news on the nation’s economy and the construction sector just keeps coming,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The increase in overall nonresidential construction spending was reasonably predictable given the predominance of positive leading indicators such as ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, which r ...

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July Construction Unemployment Rates Down in Every State Year Over Year, Says ABC

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28—For the second time this year, estimated July construction unemployment rates fell in every state and nationally on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. The July 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate fell 1.5 percent to 3.4 percent from July 2017. At the same time, the construction industry employed 303,000 more workers nationally compared to July 2017, according to BLS statistics. “Low July construction unemployment rates across the nation are the result of healthy construction activity, reflecting a tight construction labor market,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “A number of records were set this month. For the third time since January 2000, when the ABC state estimates begin, all 50 state construction unemployment rates ...

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Stopping to Save Lives

2018 National Safety Stand-Down May 7-11. After adding more than 30,000 jobs in January alone, the construction industry shows no signs of slowing down. With more workers comes more responsibility for safety. Falls from heights are still the leading cause of death in the private construction industry and lack of proper fall protection is the most frequently cited violation by OSHA. That is why each year; the construction industry dedicates a week of safety events to stopping fatal falls. Jobsites across the country and internationally pause work so that employers and workers can talk about fall prevention and commit to on-the-job safety. The combined effort from OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and CPWR–The Center for Construction Research and Training is known as the National Safety Stand-Down. Last year marked the fourth annual Stand-Down with nearly 150 free public events reaching more than 1 million workers. By continuing to reach workers and employers, OSHA ...

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Washington State Paid Sick Leave Information

Initiative 1433 was passed by Washington voters in November 2016 which increases in the minimum wage, directs employers to convey tips and service charges to appropriate employees were applicable, prohibits retaliation and requires employers to provide their employees with Paid Sick Leave starting January 1, 2018. The Paid Sick Leave Law applies to all employees who are subject to Washington Minimum Wage (e.g. hourly and salary employees who are not overtime exempt). What Can Paid Sick Leave Be Used For? Leave may be used when the employee is injured (not a work-related injury), ill, or otherwise seeking medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care. Leave can be used when the employee must be absent from work when a family member is injured, ill, or otherwise seeking medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care. Exactly who qualifies as a “family member” is defined in the new law. Leave can be used when an employee’s child’s school is closed by a pu ...

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Get to know the Republican candidates for governor.

Get to know the Republican Primary 2018 Gubernatorial Candidates April 6 & 17, and May 3 Salvation Army Kroc Center The Coeur d'Alene Chamber Public Policy Committee has extended invitations to three Republican candidates running for Governor for the State of Idaho. Each candidate will have an opportunity to express their platforms at three separate luncheons. Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm Tickets" $30 each luncheon, or $85 for all three lunches April 6 Brad Little April 17 Tommy Ahlquist May 3 Raul Labrador Reserve Seat Reserve Seat Reserve Seat Sponsored by Sponsored by Sponsored by ...

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WHD Davis Bacon Wage Announcement

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will be doing a Davis-Bacon wage survey for “Building” and “Heavy” construction projects performed in 21 metropolitan counties in Washington (please click here to access the letter from DOL for further details). The survey is for federal, state, local and privately owned projects that were active or ongoing between 1/1/2017 and 12/31/2017. As you are no doubt aware, the Davis-Bacon Act requires payment of locally “prevailing” wage rates and fringe benefits to employees of contractors and subcontractors performing work on federally financed or assisted construction projects. The DOL’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for conducting surveys to establish the wage rates applicable to such projects. Whenever possible, merit shop contractor participation in these surveys is crucial. Low merit shop turnout in DOL’s surveys can often result in wage rates that are not representative of the ...

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ALERT - ABC Member Call to Action

The carbon/energy tax bill (SB 6203) was just put on the Senate floor calendar by the Rules Committee. Section 401(4)(c) of the bill requires the use of community workforce agreements (PLAs) for new construction projects funded by the bill. Community workforce agreements require companies to agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job, use the union hiring hall to obtain workers, follow union work rules and pay into union benefit and multi-employer pension plans. All this has the impact of preventing non-union contractors – and therefore the majority of construction workers – from competing for the work that their taxes help pay for. Part IV, Energy Transformation Account Funds, Section 401(4)(c): (c) Support for high quality labor standards, apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship utilization and preferred entry standards, community workforce agreements with priority local hire, procurement from women and minority-owned businesses, procurement from and ...

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