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Francis Lowe's Articles

Study: Project Labor Agreement Mandates Inflate Cost of Construction 13 Percent

A study released today by the Beacon Hill Institute found that Ohio schools built under government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) cost 13.12 percent more than schools that were bid and constructed through fair and open competition, free from PLA requirements. The study looked at 88 schools built in Ohio since 2000 and found that those built under a PLA mandate cost $23.12 more per square foot than projects built without PLA mandates.

CBO Releases Report on House-passed AHCA

On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report with estimates on the costs and overall effect of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. This is the third report to come from the CBO since the bill was introduced in March. If the U.S. Senate passes the bill in its current form, the CBO estimates that the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026 – $32 billion less than the original bill would have reduced. 

Download the New Construction Executive Mobile App

Get the free Construction Executive magazine mobile app for Apple, Android and Kindle by searching for "Construction Executive Mag" in your app store.

Legislation Introduced to Reform Davis-Bacon Act

On May 22nd, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced The Opportunity in Construction Act, which aims to reform the way the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) calculates prevailing wages under the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act.  Sen. Flake’s bill directs the DOL to set prevailing wages for federal and federally assisted construction projects covered by the Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts using data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

President Trump Releases FY18 Budget Proposal

On May 23rd, the White House released the president’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year (FY18). Titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” Congress is likely to dismiss most or all of the president’s budget -- as they traditionally do with most White House wish lists, but the budget provides insight into White House policy and program priorities. 

Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Summits in NV, MA & TN Announced

As an industry, the construction community has the opportunity to bring the recognition of mental illness and suicide risk out in the open. Recognizing the signs, having resources for assistance available, and removing the stigma associated with mental illness are important steps we can take to prevent the risk of suicide. 

ABC Comments on Burdensome EPA Regulations

On May 15, ABC submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on costly and burdensome EPA regulations and policies. In the comment letter, ABC expressed concern that major federal projects have been unnecessarily delayed or abandoned, resulting in jobs being deferred or never created because of a dysfunctional permitting system. ABC supports a streamlined process for developers to obtain environmental permits and approvals for their projects in a timely and efficient manner, which would help foster job creation and economic growth. 

Construction Industry Takes Time Out to Focus on Safety

Throughout Safety Week 2017, May 1-5, ABC, its members and other industry organizations came together to highlight the importance of safety on construction jobsites. On May 12, during the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) National Safety Stand-Down, construction jobsites in Washington, D.C. stopped work at midday so that workers could make their way to a special safety event. The event, which was organized by ABC member Skanska and sponsored by ABC, featured an address from OSHA’s Directorate of Construction Dean McKenzie,  equipment demonstrations and exhibits, a stretch and flex exercise, subcontractor safety awards and lunch.

ABC Insurance Trust Issues Health Care Compliance Bulletin, AHCA Awaits Action in Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), on May 4, however the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains the law of the land until the AHCA is passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Trump. The Senate has not taken any action on passing the current version of the bill and Senate leadership has indicated the bill will face changes before coming to the floor for a vote. 

Seeking ABC Members for Three Emerging Peer Groups

ABC’s peer groups offer like-minded business owners an environment conducive to sharing ideas and discussing business opportunities and challenges–all with the goal of improving their businesses. Peer groups consist of six to 10 ABC member companies within a trade or interest area and with similar annual revenues. Members of the same peer group do not operate in the same competitive market, which fosters trust and an open exchange of information.