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Francis Lowe's Articles

Don’t Miss the CII’s 2017 Annual Conference

CII’s Annual Conference is the nation’s premiere capital projects conference, bringing together the brightest minds in academia, industry experts and innovative researchers. Discover how CII can help develop your capital projects and build shareholder value for your company. You will hear from a great line-up of some the industry's most dynamic leaders, industry panelists, and keynote speakers. This is an event you can’t afford to miss.

White House Releases Long-anticipated Tax Proposal

The White House rolled out its tax proposal, which aides have billed as “the biggest individual and business tax cut in American history” on April 26. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and National Economic Council Chair Gary Cohn laid out President Trump’s principles for reform from behind the podium, and a one-page document was distributed to the press.

Construction Executive Wins Silver Azbee Award

Construction Executive (CE) is proud to announce its latest editorial award, a Silver Azbee from the Association of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) for Individual Profile – Mid-Atlantic Region. The article, authored by Managing Editor Lauren Pinch, details the career trajectory and management philosophy of ABC 2016 Chair, David Chapin. The full article can be viewed here. 

Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen Order on PLA Neutrality

ABC thanked Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad for signing legislation into law to ensure the government cannot mandate PLAs on public construction projects. The bill, SF 438, codifies Gov. Branstad’s previous executive order, which prevented state and local governments procuring state and state-assisted construction projects from encouraging or prohibiting PLAs in contract solicitations, preventing a future governor from mandating PLAs through executive order. It also extends government neutrality toward PLAs to projects funded by local governments. 

Wisconsin Becomes the 23rd State to Ban PLA Mandates

ABC applauded Gov. Scott Walker for signing Act 3, which will promote fair and open competition on contracts for construction services funded by Wisconsin taxpayers, at event at an ABC member jobsite. The act will ensure that the government cannot mandate controversial project labor agreements (PLAs) on state, state-assisted and local construction projects and that merit shop contractors can compete for projects funded by their own tax dollars on a level playing field.

ABC Member Feedback Needed on Burdensome Regulations

Since taking office President Trump has made reforming our broken regulatory system a top priority. Through the use of executive orders, he has asked federal agencies to review and evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations on which regulations to repeal, replace or modify. The agencies will be putting out requests for comment from the public on certain federal regulations. ABC needs input from members on which regulations they would like to see repealed, replaced or modified. 

ABC National Chair Calls on Congress to End Government Mandated Project Labor Agreements

2017 ABC National Chair Chuck Goodrich’s op-ed calling on Congress to pass the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1552/S. 622) was published in The Hill on April 10. This ABC-priority legislation would allow America's entire construction workforce—including the 86 percent of the private construction workforce that has chosen not to join a labor union—to compete on a level playing field by ensuring that taxpayer-funded construction cannot be subjected to costly and discriminatory government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs). 

Neil Gorsuch is Confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court

On April 10, Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court after being confirmed by a vote of 54 – 45 in the U.S. Senate. ABC supported his confirmation. The vote was along party lines; however, three Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin (W.V.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.), voted with the Republican majority to confirm Judge Gorsuch. 

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Silica Rule by Three Months

On April 6, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced they were delaying enforcement of the silica standard as it applies to the construction industry to September 23, 2017. The standard was set to go into effect June 23, 2017. On March 10, 2017, the ABC-led Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) sent a letter to the acting secretary of Labor requesting that the department delay enforcement of OSHA’s final silica rule by one year. 

ABC Members to U.S. Senate: Stop Historic, Partisan Supreme Court Filibuster

ABC urged Senators to vote to avoid a partisan filibuster and ensure that the U.S. Senate has the opportunity to vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court. ABC also informed Senators that it will consider the vote a key vote for its 115th Congressional Scorecard.