Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

SuzanneSchmidt's Articles

Federal Update

The House and Senate will be in today to consider resolutions pertaining to the lying in state of former President George H.W. Bush who passed away late Friday night. President Bush will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from Dec. 3-5. Trade Update: President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached a trade truce, with a 90 day time frame to reach an agreement on reforms, to avert higher tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect on January 1st. Trump also held a ceremonial signing of the renegotiated NAFTA agreement known as the USMCA. The President told reporters that he intends to formally withdraw from NAFTA in six months. He is presenting Congress with an all or nothing decision to approve the USMCA or return to pre-NAFTA. The U.S. is still working on a deal for Mexico and Canada to earn exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs, which is seen by many as a critical step needed before Congress will consider approving the USMCA. Appropriations Update: With the Dec. 7th funding deadline approach ...

November 2018 Legislative Updates

The House and Senate are out this week for the Thanksgiving recess and return next week with the goal of striking a deal on extending a government funding bill that is set to expire on December 7th. The most pressing issue surrounding the funding bill is the president’s request for border wall funding. Congress will also try to address expired tax breaks and potential technical fixes to the GOP tax law before the end of the year. Other pressing issues remain in the Senate with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) demanding a vote on a bill to protect Robert Mueller and his investigation and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pushing for a vote on a bipartisan sentencing reform bill. Election Update: On Sunday, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson conceded the U.S. Senate race in Florida to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, giving Senate Republicans a 52-47 majority in the Senate with an expected 53 seats following the Mississippi runoff election later this month. In the House, Democrats hold a 232-198 ...

Nonresidential Spending Retains Momentum in September, Up 8.9 Percent Year Over Year, Says ABC

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1—National nonresidential construction spending fell 0.3 percent in September but remains historically elevated, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. Total nonresidential spending stood at $767.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in September, an increase of 8.9 percent on a year-ago basis. Note that August’s estimate was revised almost a full percent higher from $762.7 billion to $769.1 billion, the highest level in the history of the series. Private nonresidential spending increased 0.1 percent in September while public nonresidential spending decreased 0.8 percent for the month. “Virtually no weight should be placed upon the monthly decline in nonresidential construction spending that occurred in September,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Rather, we should focus on the massive upward revision to August’s spending data. That revision finally aligns constructi ...

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 ...

2018 ABC Voters Guide














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 ...

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 ...

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