Construction News

January 17, 2020

Capitol News.  All eyes watching the Capitol are focused on the Senate majority.  Outgoing President John Cullerton has called a meeting of the entire Senate to elect a new President.  The race has come down to two candidates, Majority Leader Kim Lightford and Assistant Majority Leader Don Harmon.  Leader Lightford, if elected would make history as the first female of color to hold that position in Illinois.  If someone is telling you that they “know” who is going win this internal election, it is either a wild guess or they are outright lying to you.  This race is up for grabs and in many ways will set the tenor for the entire legislative session.  Serious lines are being drawn by the candidates and their allies.  It would not be surprising if a compromise candidate were to emerge if the  initial balloting cannot produce a clear winner.  Senate Dems hold a 40-19 advantage.  Outgoing President John Cullerton has indicated that he will not vote in this election, as he is resigning his seat.  If that is the case, one candidate needs to find at least 20 votes.  Oh by the way, the Republicans will elect their Minority Leader the same day.  With some controversy, Bill Brady is the likely winner. 


Watch the internal dynamics of this Senate election, it will have ramifications for a long time to come.

Mark Strawn    AGCI Lobbyist     217.789.1570

An Employer's Guide to Illinois Cannabis Regulation -- A workable (and legitimate) definition of "impairment"‚Äč

Published on January 14, 2020 by Andy Martone, President and CEO of HesseMartone

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act ("Cannabis Act") protects an employer who acts reasonably based on a "good faith belief" than an employee was "impaired by or under the influence of cannabis".

This makes it important to define and explain "impairment" and being "under the influence".

The Cannabis Act itself provides some help, requiring that the employer be able to demonstrate:

1. Specific, articulable (describable) symptoms;

2. While working (or on call);

3. That decrease or lessen;

4. The employee's performance of the duties or tasks;

5.   Of the employee's job position.

Each of these components must be present in order to trigger the protection of the statute.

The Cannabis Act specifically addresses the meaning of "symptoms", indicating that they include symptoms relating to the employee's : 1) speech; 2) physical dexterity; 3) agility; 4) coordination; 5) demeanor; 6) irrational or unusual behavior; 7) negligence or carelessness in operating equipment or machinery; 8) disregard for the safety of the employee or others; 9) involvement in any accident that results in serious damage to equipment or property; 10) disruption of a production or manufacturing process; and 11) carelessness that results in any injury to the employee or to others.

This laundry list describes potential symptoms of impairment/being under the influence.

These symptoms do not provide definitive proof.

For that, the employer probably needs a positive test result -- which means that "impairment" may really mean "demonstrating one or more of the symptoms of being impaired by cannabis and testing positive for the presence of cannabis in the employee's system at the time the symptom is demonstrated". While it may be possible to act without the confirmation of a positive test result, it is risky to do so because the law also provides that the employee must be given "a reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the determination".

What's an employer to do?

1. Adopt a policy or modify an existing policy to track the requirements of the statute with regards to symptoms of impairment. When necessary, negotiate the changes with any applicable labor organization;

2. Provide supervisor training in recognizing, corroborating and documenting the existence of the symptoms of impairment;

3. Create a system of documentation/checklists that makes it easy and effective to do so;

4. Preserve any objective evidence of impairment that exists.

This article is the second in a 5-part series on "An Employer's Guide to Illinois Cannabis Regulation" by Andy Martone of HesseMartone. For more information:

AGCI Members Only Section.  Effective February 1, 2020, AGC of Illinois will discontinue the Members Only section of our website.  All labor agreements, wage addendums, and jurisdictional maps can now be found on our website under the Labor navigational tab at the top of our home page.

2020 Committees.  If you would like to serve on an AGCI Committee for 2020, please complete the attached form.  Please note the Safety Committee serves as a resource center for safety issues and does not meet on a regular basis.  Deadline is February 28, 2020.

Scholarship Applications.  AGCI Education Foundation scholarship applications are now available.  The application and Statement of Requirements can be found on AGCI’s website at

The scholarship is open to children/grandchildren of full-time employees of an AGCI member.  The scholarship is $3000 per year for four years of undergraduate work considering the recipient maintains the required grades and stays in good standing with the college/university.  The Education Foundation encourages students applying to technical schools to apply.  The student must be entering into a major/course of study compatible with a career in the construction industry.

All applications must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2020.

Leadership Academy. We are accepting applications for the 2020 Leadership Academy.  The curriculum guides participants to think critically about important issues facing our industry, while preparing them to be leaders in their companies.  Class members complete a leadership assessment, design goal-oriented assignments, and each session present oral reports on their specific applications.  Between sessions, candidates receive telephone coaching from Ken Bradford.  Ken is a charismatic coach and master mentor who leads the program. 

The goal is to engage and develop key individuals—the 20 something to 50 something managers—who are or will be leading your company, making proposal presentations, conducting meetings and servicing on committees while directing the future of the construction industry. 

There are four sessions and graduation.  Sessions are held once a quarter, affording time to practice and take care of business between sessions.  Sessions usually take place on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00—5:00 p.m. and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m.—Noon.  The fee is $1,000 per person.

The application form can be found on AGCI’s website at

Employment Opportunities

Position:  Surveyor-Construction Layout

Location:  Central Illinois

1. Schedule and perform all layout requirements to ensure project timelines are met.

2. Prepare and implement 3-D computer models for survey applications including layout, machine control, and quantity verification.

3. Provide technical assistance for machine control operations and grade checking personnel.

4. Develop and implement survey best practices among all field personnel when performing basic layout.

5. Experience with Trimble survey equipment and software is preferred.

6. Previous experience with IDOT projects is preferred.

Please send resumes to

Employment Opportunities. 

G.M. Sipes Construction is looking for a Concrete/Asphalt Patching Project Supervisor.  G.M. Sipes Construction is a Heavy Highway construction contractor specializing in road patch work, both concrete and asphalt, along with the occasional curb/gutter and culvert job. We are a small town, family owned operation located in Rushville, IL working primarily for IDOT contracts throughout the state of Illinois. Throughout our 35 years of specialized patchwork, we have earned an outstanding reputation performing quality and timely work. We intend to find a full-time supervisor to join our team in order to continue to grow and develop successful leaders within the company.

Essential Functions:

• Understanding all aspects and effectively overseeing all trades in roadway construction

• Communicating between IDOT engineers

• Managing the daily field operations for a crew of 20-30 workers

• Complete daily timecards and material reports

• Maintain working relationship with local union halls

• Prepare site, organize schedule, coordinating crews

• Anticipate materials and tasks to stay on schedule

• Promote a safe working environment, toolbox talks

 Desired Skills, Experience, and Qualifications:

 • Union member (preferred but not required)

• 5-7 years concrete and asphalt application experience

• Ability to understand and implement plans/prints and specifications

• 2 Years of crew management

• Valid driver’s license (required)

 What We Offer:

 • Full-Time yearly salary

• 8 month working season (Winters Off)

• Minimum salary of $60,000 depending on qualifications

• Quick advancement options

• Competitive production-based bonuses

• Home every weekend

• On site lodging provided for each job

• Union Benefits (Full benefit package for non-union worker)

 Job applicants must pass a drug test and license check with acceptable record.

 G.M. Sipes Construction is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Contact Dillon Ingles for more information.

Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward DBE Conference is scheduled for February 10-11, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.  Please see the link for the website for registration and lodging.  AGCI encourages members to attend.

TFIC End of Week Summary for the week ending January 17, 2020 can be found at:















Industry Watch

Call for AGC-Member Volunteer Subject Matter Experts for Business Development Check-Ups at AGC?s Annual Convention

Senate Confirms New SBA Administrator

U.S., China sign ?Phase One? Trade Deal, Partial Tariff Rollback Included in Terms