Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

SuzanneSchmidt's Articles

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ABC Endorses Mary Kuney

ABC would like to officially endorse Mary Kuney for Spokane County Commissioner. Based upon her business experience, county government knowledge and commitment to community service, ABC feels Mary would be an excellent choice to continue championing issues that matter. Her work as an auditor positions Mary to advocate for the economic development of both small and large businesses. Her experience in the Kuney family construction business closely aligns with ABC’s mission to advance the construction industry into the future and gives her a deep understanding of what it means to invest in businesses for the long term. Her knowledge of the local government means she understands the local political environment, the issues facing the county and what it takes to implement meaningful change. Her desire for efficiencies will help accomplish real change, something the current Council has failed to do repeatedly. A new perspective is needed in order to grow our community and address challenges head on, with ...

115th Congressional Update - 2017 Roundup Edition

115th Congress, First Session ABC Priority Issues POTUS Activity On Nov 22, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), a bill that delivers the first comprehensive tax reform in more than 30 years, and gives our industry a simpler and fairer tax code that will lead to more economic freedom and global competitiveness. On Oct 16, Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of ABC, was appointed by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, created by President Trump’s June 15 Executive Order 13801. On Oct. 12, President Trump signed the Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, which would expand access to association health plans and allow small businesses to have quality, affordable health care coverage. On Aug. 1, President Trump Welcomed ABC Small Business Leaders to a White House event highlighting small businesses titled, &ld ...

Protecting Medicatid, Medicare and Social Security

Dear Friend, As you may know, the People's House is currently in the midst of a historic opportunity, a once in a generation chance at passing comprehensive tax reform to create more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks. Throughout the debate on this bill, there has been a lot of misinformation out there. Specifically, I've heard from people here in Eastern Washington who have been told that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will cut funding to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. This simply isn't true. The fact of the matter is that there are no cuts to these important programs in our legislation. There are some who are resulting to scare tactics as a last ditch effort to keep taxes high for you and your families. They claim that our bill will trigger automatic spending cuts under the Statutory PAYGO Act. In reality, Congress can make the decision to exclude programs from statutory pay-as-you-go requirements. In fact, we have done so 29 times since 2010, including instances involving fundin ...

Fair Elections or Special Protections

December 14, 2017 - Spokane - On December 18th, the Spokane City Council will consider Ordinance C35571. This campaign finance ordinance, dubbed the “Fair Elections Code,” is anything but fair as the following will point out. It’s possible that this measure was drafted in good faith, however, the version set to be approved by the City Council will likely break the election system giving more power and influence to PACs & political parties, labor unions, and incumbent elected officials. Many of these new rules will actually help PACs like the one Better Spokane operates or the firefighter union backed, Spokane for Honest Government PAC. There is needed reform to campaign finance laws, but they should take place at the state level. The biggest reason is that the City of Spokane cannot afford to devote resources to yet another bureaucracy, especially since this would be a duplication of what is already done at the state level. In addition, enforcing these rules on those outside the ci ...

IPC-ABC Endorses Raul Labrador for Idaho Governor

The Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (IPC-ABC) today endorsed Raul Labrador for governor of Idaho based on his strong support of issues important to our members. While serving in Congress, Mr. Labrador’s votes aligned with IPC-ABC’s core values 100 percent of the time. “I am absolutely honored to have earned the support of the Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors,” said Labrador. ”This is an organization that is committed to growing American businesses, eliminating burdensome regulations and lowering taxes. I support its mission, and am proud of the work I’ve done to help the construction industry by defending our nation’s economy from the partisan growth-stifling tactics used by the National Labor Relations Board, and fighting the costly and unnecessary expansion of Davis-Bacon wage requirements.” Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association es ...

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