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ABC Educates Republican Lieutenant Governors About COVID-19 Impacts on Construction

On July 8, ABC National’s government affairs team delivered a presentation to a group of Republican lieutenant governors on the issues affecting the construction industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual meeting, which was part of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association’s annual conference, was attended by more than a dozen sitting lieutenant governors and candidates running for the office in 2020.

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ABC Supports the RELIEF for Main Street Act to Support Minority Contractors

On July 9, ABC sent a letter to House and Senate leadership in support of the Recharge and Empower Local Innovation and Entrepreneurs Fund for Main Street Act (S. 3742/H.R. 6907). The RELIEF for Main Street Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Reps. Kildee (D-Mich.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), would provide $50 billion in direct funding to states, cities and counties to help small and minority-owned businesses.

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The Bottom Line with ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu - July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020.

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Trump Administration Releases Spring 2020 Regulatory Agenda

On June 30, the Trump administration released its Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2021. ABC has prepared a summary of the actions of interest to ABC members by agency.

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House Passes ABC-Opposed $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill with Anti-competitive Mandates

On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, on a mostly party line vote of 233 to 188, with three Republicans voting for the bill and two Democrats voting against it. The House Democrats’ infrastructure plan would spend more than $1.5 trillion on surface transportation, airport, school, housing, healthcare, energy, water and broadband infrastructure, however, it also includes numerous anti-merit shop provisions opposed by ABC.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order on Federal Job Qualification Standards

On Monday, June 29, President Trump signed an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to revise their hiring criteria to focus on the skill set of an applicant, rather than academic credentials. The order requires federal agencies to revise and update outdated federal job qualification standards and candidate assessments, improving the quality and competency of the civil service.

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Senate Passes Extension of Application Deadline for PPP Small Business Loans

On June 30, the Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent that would extend the application period for the small business Paycheck Protection Program through Aug. 8. The application period ended on June 30, and the bill still needs to be approved by the House and signed into law by President Trump.

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Iowa Governor Signs Coronavirus Liability Protection Legislation

Last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) signed legislation (SF 2338) that protects business owners and employees from COVID-19-related liability lawsuits. ABC of Iowa supported the bill, which protects business owners from coronavirus liability lawsuits while excepting lawsuits against individuals who recklessly or intentionally put others at risk.

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Registration for ABC’s Election Series is Now Open

Registration for ABC’s Election Series, powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance, is now open! The series kicks off on Thursday, July 16, and will run through Election Day, with two webinars scheduled per month. 

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OSHA Issues Guidance for Uniform Enforcement of Respirable Crystalline Silica Standards

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing respirable crystalline silica exposures in general industry, maritime and construction.

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ABC Opposes House Democrats’ $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill with Anti-Merit Shop Provisions

On June 22, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) was joined by six other Democratic House committee chairs in a press conference releasing the  Democratic Infrastructure Bill, H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

 

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ABC Urges House to Approve Great American Outdoors Act, Which Would Create 100,000+ Construction Jobs

On June 17, The Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422), introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), was passed in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 73-25. This bipartisan legislation would help address the $20 billion deferred maintenance backlog in the Department of the Interior, $12 billion of which is accumulated by the National Park Service, creating thousands of construction jobs in the process.

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ABC’s Chief Economist Delivers Mid-Year Forecast in Construction Executive Webinar

On June 10, ABC’s Construction Executive magazine held a webinar featuring ABC chief economist Anirban Basu that focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked a nearly invincible economy, wreaking havoc on the construction industry, and how the current recession might dovetail into prospective growth in the future.

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Construction Executive Wins Regional Gold in Azbee Awards of Excellence

Construction Executive has been named a regional Gold Azbee Award winner in the “best social media campaign” category for the magazine’s first annual CE Photo Contest.

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Florida Governor Signs Two Bills That Affect State’s Infrastructure and Construction Industry

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a series of bills into law this week, two of which impact the state’s infrastructure and construction industry.

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ABC Welcomes Executive Order That Expedites Infrastructure Investments

On June 4, President Trump signed executive order 13927, which directs federal agencies to expedite the delivery of transportation infrastructure projects, an action ABC said will streamline permitting and facilitate infrastructure improvements while protecting the environment, health and safety.

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Support the Merit Shop and Join the Plus-none Party Starting June 14

Advocate for small businesses and fair and open competition by joining the Free Enterprise Alliance’s Plus-none Party, a 72-hour online fundraiser benefiting the main issue advocacy arm of ABC. The party will kick off on Sunday, June 14 at 12 p.m. EDT and will close on Wednesday, June 17 at 12 p.m. EDT. Check out the website and donate today!

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ABC Supports DOL-Issued Final Rule on Overtime Determination for Fluctuating Workweek Employees

On June 8, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published its final rule on the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Computing Overtime in the Federal Register. The rule will go into effect on Aug. 7, 2020.

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ABC Michigan Wins Court Case on Governor’s Overreaching Enforcement Rules

This week, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan was among the plaintiffs that won a case in the Michigan Court of Claims, which challenged parts of Gov. Whitmer’s 96th and 97th executive orders.

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OSHA Releases Latest Agency and Industry-specific COVID-19 Resource Guide

On June 8, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the OSHA Alliance Program issued an updated list of COVID-19 resources from various federal and state agencies and nongovernment organizations.

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Survey: 80% of ABC Members Received PPP Loans

In an ABC member survey conducted May 20-June 3, 80% of survey responses indicated their firm had applied for and received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.

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Court Blocks Several Aspects of 2019 NLRB Final Election Rule

In March, the AFL-CIO sued the National Labor Relations Board to block its 2019 final election rule, officially known as Representation-Case Procedures, which would modify procedures for union elections and scale back provisions of the Obama-era “ambush” election rule. On May 30, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia blocked several aspects of the NLRB’s 2019 final rule, which were scheduled to go into effect on May 31.

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OSHA Releases Guidance on Limiting Workplace Exposure to the Coronavirus

To help businesses prevent outbreaks in their workplaces, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an alert listing ways employers can limit worker exposure to the coronavirus.

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Eighteen ABC Members Ranked in Top 20 Among ENR’s Top 400 Contractors

Of the nation's top 20 construction companies, 18 are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record's recently published annual list of the Top 400 Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2019 revenue.

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ABC Urges Congress to Enact Liability Relief Legislation Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 27, ABC joined more than 200 organizations calling on Congress to quickly enact temporary and targeted liability relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort spearheaded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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OSHA Releases Agency and Industry-specific COVID-19 Resource Guide

On May 26, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the OSHA Alliance Program issued an updated list of COVID-19 resources from various federal and state agencies and nongovernment organizations.

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IRS Ruling on PPP Forgiveness

On April 30, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2020-32 which clarified that “no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the CARES Act. 

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ABC Paves the Way in Construction Technology and Innovation

These past couple months, ABC has explored opportunities to provide leadership in the construction technology and innovation sector. With the guidance of Matt Abeles, ABC’s new vice president of construction technology and innovation, ABC has been featured in industry webinars, podcasts, news stories and speaking engagements about this topic.

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President Trump Issues Executive Order on Regulatory Relief to Jumpstart the Economy

On May 19, President Trump signed the Executive Order, “Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery,” which encourages federal agencies to review burdensome regulations in order to jumpstart the economy and get Americans back to work.

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Many Construction Industry Multiemployer Pension Plans Remain in Financial Distress

Merit shop contractors are typically wary of competing for taxpayer-funded construction contracts which are subject to government-mandated project labor agreements. Often their main concern is the viability of defined benefit multiemployer pension plans which expose their business to potentially catastrophic MEPP liability. I

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ABC Urges SBA to Take Action on PPP Loan Implementation Concerns

While ABC is pleased with Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 emergency and strengthen the American economy through the Paycheck Protection Program, members have raised concerns about current guidance and requirements.

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OSHA Announces $11.5 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants

On May 19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the availability of $11.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants for various nonprofit organizations, including employer associations, labor unions and joint labor/management associations, including as ABC chapters. Grant applications must be submitted through grants.gov by July 20, 2020.

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ABC-endorsed Candidate Wins Special Election California’s 25th Congressional District

On May 13, former Navy pilot and defense executive Mike Garcia (R) scored an impressive 10-point victory to win California’s 25th Congressional District after Democrat Kristy Smith conceded the race.

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Have You Experienced Issues Securing PPP Loans? ABC Wants to Hear Your Story

As ABC continues working to secure clear guidance on Paycheck Protection Program loans, we are also collecting information on issues members have confronted while seeking loans to provide critical pay and benefits for their employees. ABC urges members to send any personal stories they are comfortable sharing on their experience with the loan program by emailing [email protected].  

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Construction Permitted in the First Phase of Massachusetts Reopening

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) released a four-phase plan on reopening the state’s economy that permitted construction, along with manufacturing, to resume operations on May 18. Businesses in other industries are scheduled to reopen incrementally, with restrictions and limitations, as outlined in the administration’s plan.

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ABC-endorsed Candidate Wins Special Election California’s 25th Congressional District

On May 13, former Navy pilot and defense executive Mike Garcia (R) scored an impressive 10-point victory to win California’s 25th Congressional District after Democrat Kristy Smith conceded the race.

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ABC, U.S. Chamber Support EPA Clarification on Interpretation of the Term 'Begin Actual Construction' in Permitting Process

ABC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce appreciate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to provide clarification to the interpretation of the term “begin actual construction” in regulations implementing the major New Source Review permitting program, they wrote in a May 11 letter.

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ABC Push Helps Secure Clear Guidance on PPP Loan Necessity Certification

A new PPP FAQ was released on the good-faith certification, which would clarify that borrowers with loans of less than $2 million are deemed to have made the certification in good faith.

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ABC Objects to HEROES Act Tax Hike for Small Construction Businesses

As part of the Parity for Main Street Employers coalition, ABC opposed a proposal from Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives that would raise taxes on small construction businesses through the repeal of the bipartisan-supported net operating loss carryback and loss limitation provisions previously included in the CARES Act.

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Vermont Construction Jobsites Fully Reopen After Nearly Two Months

Construction jobsites in Vermont, which had been gradually reopening over the last few weeks, resumed full operation on Monday, May 11, under revised guidance from the state.

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Register for Construction Executive's Free Mid-Year Economic Outlook Webinar

All Construction Executive readers are invited to register for an exclusive Mid-Year Economic Outlook webinar featuring Anirban Basu, the chief economist to Associated Builders and Contractors. Basu, known for his entertaining delivery and sharp assessments of the economic state of the industry, will provide a candid assessment of the market impact of COVID-19 crisis on the construction sector for the rest of 2020.

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ABC Calls for Open Competition and an All-of-the-Above Workforce Development Strategy in Senate Water Infrastructure Draft Bills

On May 1, ABC sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works advocating for improvements to draft legislation that is being considered by the committee, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020.

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Washington State Reopens Limited Amount of Construction Projects

Construction projects in Washington, which have been widely shut down since March 25, resumed this week in limited scope and under new safety guidelines issued by Gov. Jay Inslee.

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OFCCP Webpage Offers Federal Contractor Resources on Past Drug Misuse

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published a new webpage with information and resources for federal contractors and workers related to their obligations and rights concerning the past misuse of drugs.

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DOL Issues COVID-19 Relief and Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans

On April 30, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration published a rule extending deadlines under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 national emergency.

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Special Elections in Wisconsin and California Take Center Stage

Voters in Wisconsin and California will cast ballots for two important special general elections on Tuesday, May 12.

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Construction in Pennsylvania Set to Resume on May 1 with Updated CDC Safety Measures

On April 25, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) rolled out his plan for a gradual reopening of the state, which says that construction can resume on Friday, May 1, as long as it is in accordance with safety and COVID-19 mitigation standards.

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CISC Releases Updated COVID-19 Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition recently released an updated COVID-19 Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction. ABC, a member of the CISC Steering Committee, encourages its members to review the plan, which includes the latest protective measures and guidance on keeping workers safe on jobsites.

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High School Seniors in ACE Mentor Program Win $400,000 in Scholarships

Twenty-three students have won college scholarships worth between $5,000 and $40,000 in the second year of a national competition organized by the ACE Mentor Program, a free after-school program created by the integrated construction industry to attract students into pursuing industry-related careers.

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Bipartisan Senators Urge the Inclusion of 501(c)(6) Organizations in the Paycheck Protection Program

On April 27, a bipartisan group of 18 U.S. senators urged expanding eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to include 501(c)(6) organizations in the next coronavirus relief package. If your senator supported this effort, please take the time to thank them through ABC’s Action Alert.

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