Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

From the category archives: Government Affairs

Government Affairs

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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Court Blocks DOL's Final Persuader Rule

On March 23, the DOL issued its final persuader rule, officially titled the Interpretation of the 'Advice' Exemption in Section 203(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which drastically redefines "persuader" activity under Section 203 of the LMRDA. On June 27, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocked the DOL from implementing the final persuader rule, which was scheduled to take effect  July 1. On Nov. 16, the court found the rule to be unlawful and permanently blocked it from going into effect. 

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WA Election Results: Stay the Course

November 8, 2016, general election results bring more of the same.

Among several ballot initiatives, voters approved an increase in the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 with 60 percent of the vote (I-1433), but also defeated a proposed carbon tax by 41% to 59% (I-732).

Governor Jay Inslee was re-elected with 56% of the vote.  Democratic state Senator Cyrus Habib (D-Bellevue) also won with 56% of the vote.  Attorney General Bob Ferguson was re-elected handily.

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IPC-ABC Endorsements

See who IPC-ABC endorsed for 2016.

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Idaho Legislative Update – ABC Making Progress on CM/GC Bill . . . Big Battles Remain

Thanks to the fantastic efforts of so many ABC members emailing and calling members of the Idaho House Business Committee, the ABC backed bill, HB 119 passed out of committee by a close vote of 9 to 7.

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