Constructor - July/August 2015 - (Page 80)

LeGIsLAtIVe AnD ReGULAtoRY neWs HIGHWAY/TRANSIT FUNDING EXTENDED 60 DAYS one of the lAst stePs the Senate took before leaving for its Memorial Day recess was to approve a House-passed bill extending the federal highway program until July 31, 2015. The new expiration date coincides with when the Highway Trust Fund is expected to approach a zero balance. If Congress can't identify more federal transportation funds by the end of July, the Department of Transportation will be forced to cut reimbursement funding to states for ongoing projects. Congress settled on the two month extension after failing to find money to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through the end of the calendar year. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the president will sign the bill but urged Congress to take action on a long-term authorization and funding bill. Finding the revenue necessary to support a long-term authorization remains the stumbling block preventing Congress from acting on a long-term measure. Congress either has to increase the federal gas tax or identify other revenue to provide the approximately $100 billion needed just to keep transportation spending at current levels. The Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees are responsible for finding the revenue for the program but they remain focused on comprehensive tax reform and have deferred action on highway funding until later this summer. AGC continues to press for a long-term bill that supports growing investment in the nation's transportation infrastructure. Your support is key to this effort. Please continue to deliver that message to members of the House and Senate through the Hardhats for Highways (focused on contractors) and Drive Better Roads (focused on drivers) campaigns. ◆ AGC OFFERS MEMBERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO "TELEFORUM" WITH U.S. SENATORS Agc of AmerIcA hAs partnered with several business organizations to provide its members the exclusive opportunity to hear from U.S. Senators. During these live teleforums, AGC members can ask their Senator questions about the concerns and obstacles they face every day while trying to operate a business in the construction industry. The next teleforum will by with Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on June 9th. Past teleforums have included Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). When teleforums are AGC-BACKED BAN ON REVERSE AUCTIONS PASSES HOUSE VOTE scheduled, AGC members in the Senator's state will receive an email inviting them to participate. For those unable to participate on the live teleforum or who reside outside of the state, recordings of the teleforums are available for download on AGC.org/Teleforums. ◆ AGC JOINS COALITION EFFORT TO PROVIDE COMMENTS ON THE OBAMACARE "CADILLAC TAX" the house of rePresentAtIves passed a provision that would Agc of AmerIcA JoIned with a broad coalition of employers, labor help prevent federal agencies from procuring construction services through reverse auctions. Representative Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) offered this AGC-supported provision as an amendment-which passed by unanimous voice vote-to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. The Defense Act - with the reverse auction ban amendment included - subsequently passed the House on a 269 to 151 vote in May. The Act funds for the Department of Defense and has passed Congress every year for over 50 consecutive years. The House-passed defense measure also included provisions that encourage sensible consideration of past performance records in joint ventures and teaming, prevent individual surety fraud in the construction bond marketplace and address the unintended consequences of misinterpretation of the U.S. Small Business Administration's non-manufacturer rule. AGC testified on these and other procurement reforms before the House Small Business Committee in February. AGC is working with members of the Senate to add similar construction procurement reform measures to its version of the Defense Act. The Senate was scheduled to consider the bill in June. ◆ unions and other entities to provide detailed comments to the Treasury Department's request for information on implementing the 40-percent excise tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored health coverage, also known as the "Cadillac Tax". The controversial tax has been delayed until 2018, but employers - notably those with labor agreements that stretch into 2018 - are beginning to anticipate the ramifications from the tax. The nondeductible 40-percent tax applies to the cost of "applicable employer-sponsored coverage" in excess of certain thresholds: in 2018, $10,200 for employee-only coverage and $27,500 for family coverage and linked thereafter to the consumer price index. The linking of the threshold to the index is an additional concern because the medical inflation rate has historically risen twice as fast. This will soon make the tax applicable to a broader array of plans. AGC supports repealing the tax altogether, but absent repeal, has urged the administration to exercise flexibility in issuing the regulations. The comment letter focused on three areas: (1) the definition of applicable coverage, (2) the determination of the cost of applicable coverage and (3) the application of the annual statutory dollar limit ◆ to the cost of applicable coverage. 80 constructor | Ju ly/ Au g u st 2015 http://www.AGC.org/Teleforums

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - July/August 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
CEO’S LETTER
REBUILDING MOTOR CITY
THE REAL DETROIT
RAISING THE GRADE
FEDCON BRINGS CONTRACTORS AND AGENCY LEADERSHIP TOGETHER
HOOKED UP
2015 WILLIS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS
PUTTING MOORE INTO SAFETY
SIMONSON SAYS
THE ROAD TO SAFETY
CONSTRUCTION SAFETY APPS SAVE WORKER LIVES
DEEP SPACE FINE
TIME TO ENGAGE
COORDINATION LEADS TO TRIUMPH
AGC IN ACTION
TREASURE TROVE
A P3 PRIMER
MEMBER AND CHAPTER NEWS
THREE MUST HAVES IN A FLEET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY NEWS
A LABOR OF LOVE
TECHNOLOGY TOOLBOX
BEYOND THESE PAGES
UPCOMING EVENTS
2015 REGIONAL RESOURCE GUIDE
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
FINAL INSPECTION

Constructor - July/August 2015

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