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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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ABC Leaders Are on Capitol Hill for Legislative Week

During ABC's 2016 Legislative Week, ABC members have had the chance to educate Congress about the issues that affect their businesses and spread the word about the contributions ABC members make to the construction industry. So far, participants have enjoyed the Diversity & Inclusion Summit, the Free Enterprise Alliance Reception and the Young Professionals Symposium. ABC members have meetings with members of Congress on Capitol Hill scheduled for the rest of Legislative Week. 

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New Veterans Hiring Benchmark for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that the new annual hiring benchmark under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) is 6.9 percent, down slightly from 7 percent in 2015. The act requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain veterans.

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Legislative Update
The House and Senate are in recess this week. Both chambers will return September 6th.