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ABC Travel Teams Hitting the Road this Election Season

As Election Day approaches, ABC National is ramping up efforts to ensure that the voice of the merit shop is heard loud and clear in battleground states on Nov. 8. Funded by the Free Enterprise Alliance, ABC’s travel teams supplement the association’s broader political advocacy efforts by engaging in member education and get-out-the-vote efforts in concert with ABC chapters and members ahead of the 2016 election. ABC’s travel teams will be on the ground throughout the fall in several states including Florida and Pennsylvania, but the size and scope of our efforts are not limited to select swing states.

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House Passes ABC-backed Workforce Development Legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives September 13 unanimously passed a key piece of workforce development legislation. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587), sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.)  reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to better align America’s workforce development programs with industry demand. ABC is supportive of Rep. Thompson’s legislation and has worked with Congressional leaders to shape policy that will equip our nation’s students with the tools and experience needed to succeed in the21st-century workforce.

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Coalition Submits Comments on Nationwide Water Permitting Proposal

The Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) submitted comments to seek clarification on a new proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) that could impact the scope of nationwide permits (NWPs) used to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act. ABC is a member of the coalition.

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Illinois Governor Vetoes Bill Tying Prevailing Wage to Union Contracts

On July 22, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have significantly changed the prevailing wage calculation process by tying wage rates to union collective bargaining agreements. In vetoing the bill, Gov. Rauner said Senate Bill 2964 would effectively discount the wage rates of those who have chosen not to join a union and who make up a majority of the construction workforce. 

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Increase in Penalties Begins in August

Due to a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, all agencies with civil monetary penalties covered by the statute have the authority to raise penalties annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Some agencies affected by this increase include DOL, EPA and OSHA. The provision also allows OSHA to have a one-time “catch-up adjustment” in 2016 since the fines have not increased since 1990.

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Legislative Update
The House and Senate are in session through the end of the week. Lawmakers are trying to reach a final agreement on stopgap spending legislation in time for House and Senate votes in the next four days to fund the government for the first 10 weeks of the 2017 fiscal year. Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will mark up the Career and Technical Education Act of 2016, which is expected to differ from the House bill passed last week.