Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

Federal Update - Budget Resolution and Tax Reform Week

This week the House and Senate were in session, with the Senate voting to approve the latest disaster relief package and the House voting today to narrowly approve, by a vote of 216-212, the Senate passed Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 71) that will position Congress to move forward with comprehensive tax reform. ABC key voted the budget resolution, you can view a copy of the letter here. The disaster relief package provides $36.5 billion to help residents of Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas and includes $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the National Flood Insurance Program. The President is expected to sign the bill, which has already passed the House. The budget resolution allows for tax cuts of $1.5 trillion, requiring approximately $4 trillion in offsets to adhere to the overall plan that is expected to cost nearly $5.5 trillion. One of the most highly reported revenue sources has been the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which, if eliminated, would result in an estimated $1.3 trillion of ta ...

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ABC’s Mike Bellaman Appointed to Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion for all Americans

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16—Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), has been 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.  “I am excited to join Secretary Acosta’s task force to expand opportunities to citizens nationwide who want to live the American Dream while helping to build and rebuild our country,” said Bellaman. “As the president promised in his election night acceptance speech, every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential under his administration. That sentiment will drive this task force as we work to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs for all Americans.” According to the order, the task force will submit to the president strategies and proposals focused on four areas: Federal initiatives to promote apprenticeships; ...

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Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

EXECUTIVE ORDER - - - - - - - REDUCING REGULATION AND CONTROLLING REGULATORY COSTS By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as amended (31 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Purpose.  It is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both public and private sources.  In addition to the management of the direct expenditure of taxpayer dollars through the budgeting process, it is essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.  Toward that end, it is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and th ...

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115th Congress Federal Updates

August Recess Begins Summer vacation began in Washington on Friday. President Donald Trump left for two weeks in Bedminster, New Jersey, joining the just-departed Senate and House of Representatives for an August recess. Before leaving, the Senate moved to block President Trump from making key appointments during its summer recess, then wrapped up action until September by confirming dozens of presidential nominees. The Senate will hold nine “pro forma” sessions during its August recess, which would prevent the president from replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and officials in other positions without confirmation. The confirmation of nominees -- particularly a series of deputy secretaries -- clears the deck for lawmakers to tend to other matters when they return Sept. 5, including work on critical bills to cover federal spending, flood insurance programs and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as a plan to avoid defaulting on federal debt. Current federal government ...

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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 ...

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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.

Significant 2017 NEC & WAC 296-46B Changes

The latest Special Edition of the Washington State Department of Labor & Industires "Electrical Currents" newsletter detailed some of the significant changes in the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC®) and WAC 296-246B Electrical Safety Standards, Administration and Installation electrical rules. the department adopted revisions to WAC 296-46B, including adoption of the 2017 NEC® with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Installations made under any electrical permit purchased on or after July 1, 2017 are subject to the new requirements. The recent rulemaking process was necessary to align the previous July 2014 WAC 296-46B (based on the 2014NEC®) with the 2017 NEC®. The department adopted very few amendments to the NEC®. The newsletter does not cover all changes and is meant to assist affected companies in becoming aware of some of the significant changes. The explanations vary from the actual code language, and it is recommended you refer to the full revision that will soon be availa ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Trump Signs Executive Order Requiring that for Every One New Regulation , Two Must Be Revoked

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday, January 30, requiring that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded. “This will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Trump declared moments before signing it in the Oval Office. “There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be a normalized control where you can open your business and expand your business very easily. And that's what our country has been all about.” The executive order signing, which fulfills a campaign pledge, comes after the president held a listening session with small-business leaders. “If you have a regulation you want, No. 1, we’re not gonna approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms,” Trump said. “But if we do, the only way you have a chance is we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation. So if there’s a new regulation, they have to knock ou ...

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