March 24, 2017
CAPITOL NEWS - Mark Strawn, AGCI Lobbyist & Consultant
Lawmakers from the Senate will return to Springfield next Tuesday 28 March after taking a week off to recuperate. Still bruised from the beat down of the Grand Bargain, the Senate deadline for moving substantive bills out of Committee was last week. Normally, that brings some normalcy to the legislative process, in that, everyone has a better idea of what bills are alive and moving and which bills haven’t progressed and are likely dead. The Senate though, again this year, threw a monkey wrench into that plan and extended the deadline on over 330 bills. Ooops.
The House deadline to move substantive bills out of Committees is this next Friday, 31 March. There appears to be a move by IDOT to appease sub-contractors regarding prompt payments from Primes. As this moves ahead we will keep you informed.
Inertia seems to have taken over in the General Assembly regarding a budget. It becomes more difficult as each week passes and we get closer to the end of the fiscal year. There are still discussions in the Senate on a plan to move the state forward, although many of the participants are gun shy after the last melt down. Still, focus remains on the Senate to make the next steps towards a resolution.
Don’t forget to check AGCI’s website to view the bills we are tracking. http://www.agcil.org/legislative/watch-list
IDOT DISPARITY STUDY AVAILABILITY SURVEYS
As part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) ongoing disparity study, BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) and Customer Research International (CRI) will begin conducting availability telephone surveys with Illinois businesses that perform work that is relevant to IDOT contracting. The study team will begin those availability surveys in late March 2017 and will continue to contact businesses through the spring and summer. As part of those surveys, business owners and representatives will have an opportunity to share important information related to:
Interest in working with IDOT; and
Experiences working in the local marketplace.
If CRI or BBC contacts your business, please participate in the survey to help ensure an accurate and comprehensive availability analysis!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dana Goodrum at IDOT’s Office of Business and Workforce Diversity via telephone (217-782-5490) or email (Dana.Goodrum@Illinois.gov).
CARDINALS BASEBALL OUTING
Come join the fun at the 2017 Cardinals Baseball Outing on Friday, July 28, 2017. The Cardinals host the Diamondbacks that night. Game time is 7:15 p.m.
A block of rooms has been obtained at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch for $149 per night.
This year we will be watching the game from the UMB Champions Club.
2018 MIDWINTER SEMINAR
Registration is now open for the 2018 Midwinter Seminar. Save the dates of January 21 – 28 and join AGCI at the Resort at Pedregal in Los Cabos. “Renew, Re-energize and Rediscover”; start planning your trip to Paradise now. Bill and Jennifer Kinney (Kinney Contractors) have selected the site for 2018 and are looking forward to seeing you in Los Cabos.
Visit their website www.theresortatpedregal.comto learn more about the resort.
Please return your registration form by December 3to secure your room.
OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 649 WAGE ADDENDUM
Last week, we posted the 2017 wage document for Operating Engineers local 649, which will take effect on April 1. We have now replaced it with an updated version. Only the heading has changed. This was done in an effort to avoid confusing this wage document with the building construction wage document. All wage and fringe amounts remain unchanged.
IDOT PREQUALIFICATION ENGINEER
Mr. Frank Lowry was named the Prequalification Engineer in the Bureau of Construction effective March 16, 2017. Frank can be reached at (217)782-3413.
UNION BENEFIT FUNDS ENTITLED TO ENFORCE VOID COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS
Attached please find an article from Andrew J. Martone, Hesse Martone, P.C. entitled Union Benefit Funds Entitled to Enforce Void Collective Bargaining Agreements.
EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL WORKSHOP
Registration is now open for the 2017series of erosion and sediment control workshops offered by the Illinois Center for Transportation of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The three modules offered are designed for Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) contractors, inspectors, designers, and others interested in erosion and sediment control and storm-water management best management practices. Successful completion of the Fundamentals Module is required before taking the Design or Construction Modules. Register Here.
TCC Fly-In/State Funding Workshop Scheduled
2017 could be the year of infrastructure in Washington, D.C. President Trump highlighted rebuilding infrastructure during his campaign, again on election night, and as part of his inaugural address. Additionally, both the House and Senate have already held hearings to highlight infrastructure issues. As we await details about the Trump Infrastructure Initiative, one thing is clear, the construction industry’s involvement into its development and enactment by Congress is vitally important to its success. The 16th Annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Legislative Fly-In, scheduled for May 17-18, 2017 is well-timed to provide an opportunity for that input.
Join hundreds of other industry leaders in delivering the construction industry’s message on Capitol Hill in May. As part of the Fly-In, AGC has scheduled a one day workshop on Elements of a Successful State Funding Campaign.
The agenda will cover:
· AGC Chapter Successes in Getting a Funding Increase enacted
· How to Utilize Social Media to Reach the Broadest Audience
· Use of Digital Advertising for Cost Effective Outreach
· Generating\Utilizing Traditional Media
· How does TRIP fit into State Campaigns
· What economic Data is Helpful in Your Campaign
ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL
CONGRESS ROLLS BACK MISGUIDED OSHA RULE
This week, the Senate followed the House in passing a bill that repeals the OSHA “Volks” Rule and it now heads to the president’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law. AGC led a lobbying effortin passing the bill and issued a statementafter the vote that the bill will preserve worker safety while protecting the constitution and respecting court rulings.
At the heart of the Volks matter was an Obama Administration OSHA rule issued in December that exposed employers to unfair liability for honest and inadvertent paperwork mistakes related to recordkeeping. The rule extended the statute of limitations on recordkeeping violations from six months to five and a half years, and did nothing to improve the safety or health of a company’s workers. The rule was initially issued by OSHA to circumvent a court decision involving a construction company that challenged an OSHA citation for a recordkeeping violation issued beyond six months. Two federal courts have since rebuked OSHA’s theory for issuing recordkeeping citations after six months.
For more information, contact Jim Young at firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 547-0133.
HOUSE INTRODUCES AGC-SUPPORTED GASTAX BILL
This week, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (Ore), introduced the AGC-supported Investing in America: A Penny for Progress Act, which would provide approximately $500 billion – a 30 percent increase – in infrastructure investment for federal surface transportation programs. The bill finances these investments by authorizing Invest in America 30-year Treasury bonds, annually, through 2030. The bonds will be repaid through indexing federal gas and diesel taxes to the National Construction Cost Index and reduced motor fuel usage for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. According to Rep DeFazio’s office, the bill is estimated to raise the gas and diesel takes by approximately 1 cent per year and includes a hard cap of 1.5 cents per year.
While AGC supports Rep DeFazio’s legislation, which addresses our surface transportation needs through 2030, we will continue to focus our efforts on providing a permanent solution for the chronic Highway Trust Fund shortfall.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at email@example.com (202) 547-8892.
2016 AGC ANNUAL REPORT
The digital version of the 2016 AGC Annual Report can be found at http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AGCAnnualReport/2016AnnualReport/index.php.
Please spend a few minutes with the report and see what AGC is doing for you. If you would like a hard copy or the pdf version, contact the AGCI office.