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The U.S. House of Representatives passed ABC-supported legislation to mitigate the impact of certain costly and burdensome regulations on Sept. 21. The Require Evaluation before Implementing Executive Wishlists (REVIEW) Act of 2016 (H.R. 3438) passed by a bipartisan vote of 244-180. The bill was introduced by Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and cosponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

David Allen Company Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., a member of ABC’s Carolinas chapter, and Elzinga & Volkers Inc. of Holland, Mich., a member of ABC’s Western Michigan chapter, have been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC.  

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Beam Club, ABC National Board and Committee members along with all Leadership Week attendees are invited to a celebratory reception following the board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 5-6:30 p.m.  Meet and raise a glass to the members wearing burgundy blazers, who are being honored for their dedication to growing ABC over the years with 50, 100, even 200 members recruited!

On Aug. 5 the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations targeting the valuation practices of family-owned businesses. The proposed rules would lead to dramatically higher estate and gift taxes by eliminating the use of discounts currently permitted to reflect lack of control and marketability, respectively. The Wall Street Journal has referred to it as a "stealth death tax increase" that "rewrites long-standing interpretations of law."

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.

ABC and a coalition of business groups filed suit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division’s costly and burdensome final overtime rule on Sept. 20. The legal challenge was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the minimum wage for workers on covered federal contracts and service contracts will increase to $10.20 per hour from $10.15 per hour in 2016. The increase is dictated by the Oct. 7, 2014, U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division final rule that implemented Executive Order 13658.

ABC is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Craft Professional of the Year and Craft Instructor of the Year awards. ABC members, employees and chapter staff may submit a nomination by the Jan. 6, 2017 deadline. If you know of someone who works hard, makes a difference in the industry and embodies the merit shop philosophy, enter them into the competition and they could walk away with the top title and a hefty grand prize.

ABC is now accepting nominations for its Student Chapter of the Year. The award recognizes an outstanding student chapter for its accomplishments in programming, community service, communications/public relations and interaction with its ABC chapter. The Student Chapter of the Year will receive a $2,000 cash prize, complimentary registration and hotel accommodations for two students to attend ABC’s Legislative Week in Washington, D.C., and press coverage in ABC National media outlets.

In the wake of the Aug. 24 issuance of the “blacklisting” final rule by the Obama administration, ABC recently surveyed membership to determine the impact of the rule on the contracting community interested in pursuing federal contracts. ABC’s survey of its members reveals that more than 51 percent of respondents said the final rule’s onerous requirements, including reporting alleged violations that firms are still contesting, will force them to abandon the pursuit of federal contracts. 

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of New Jersey applauded a federal court decision issued Sept. 12 that could end up prohibiting Jersey City, N.J., from mandating the use of union-only project labor agreements (PLAs) on certain tax-abated construction projects. ABC has long maintained that PLAs reduce competition and drive up the cost of development.

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.

Ten students pursuing craft professional training in the construction industry were awarded the second annual Build Your Future scholarships through ABC’s Trimmer Construction Education Foundation. The scholarships are given to the top 10 students attending an NCCER-accredited program or a state/federally approved apprenticeship program in a merit-shop training facility. 

ABC's strategic partner CNA has released a new bulletin on proactive measures that can help to curb the spread of the Zika virus. Although the only confirmed cases of local transmission (not travel-related) have been in South Florida, many areas in the United States have the types of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika.

At the ABC Future Leaders Lab, construction industry young professionals will partner with Blake Cavignac, founder of Young Pro Elite, in a collaborative workshop focused on improving productivity, performance and industry leadership. Once complete, these ABC young leaders will have built lasting connections with fellow next-gen leaders of the merit shop and a powerful blueprint for personal success.

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