• AGC Advocacy Report

  • Michael Gifford, AGC President & CEO
    October 15, 2021

     

     

  • State

    2021 AGC Ballot Guide
    The next election is Tuesday Nov 2, 2021. AGC is providing a 2021 AGC Ballot Guide for members to use in analyzing the many states and local ballot issues that affect the construction industry. Please remember that companies can inform employees on what issues AGC supports and opposes as good or bad for the construction industry. Here are the measures that AGC is supporting and opposing this year (the complete ballot guide also includes other measures with a brief explanation on what the measure will do):
     
    City & County of Denver Ballot Measures
    Referred Question 2A
    Denver Facilities System Bonds Vote YES!
    $93M for city facilities like libraries, and ADA improvements at existing facilities.
     
    Referred Question 2B
    Denver Housing and Sheltering System Bonds Vote YES!
    $37M to purchase 48th Ave Shelter and create 300 rooms for people experiencing homelessness.
     
    Referred Question 2C
    Denver Transportation and Mobility System Bonds Vote YES!
    $61M for 300 miles of sidewalks, crosswalks, 5280 Urban Trail and bike lanes.
     
    Referred Question 2D
    Denver Parks and Recreation System Bonds Vote YES!
    $52M for additional parks & recreation facilities in underserved communities.
     
    Referred Question 2E
    National Western Campus Facilities System Bonds Vote YES!
    $190M to transform 1909 building into a Public Market and construct a new 10,000 National Western Center Arena.
     
    Initiated Ordinance 304
    Enough Taxes Already Vote NO!
    Would cap Denver’s aggregate sales and use tax rate at 4.5%, down from its current 4.81%. Result would be an $80M cut to police, fire, and other city services. It would also require the city to reduce other sales and use taxes if voters approve new ones above that 4.5% cap.
     
    Castle Rock Ballot Measure
    Ballot Question 2A
    New Housing Construction Tax for Police and Fire Vote NO!
    Would levy a new $7 per square foot tax on new housing. That’s another $21,000 on a 3,000-sf home. Housing growth leads to commercial construction growth, and a $7 p/sf tax on new home construction will dampen new home building in the area. Plus, this idea could spread if approved by voters in Castle Rock.
     
    Colorado Springs Ballot Measure
    Issue 2C
    TOPS Tax Extension and Increase Vote YES!
    Colorado Springs will have another 150,000 residents in the next 20 years and become CO’s largest city. Since 1997 the TOPS sales tax of 0.1% has funded 7,100 acres of open space, built 25 parks, and constructed 50 miles of urban trails. Companies and people want to invest in a place that is investing in itself. Colorado Springs has been proving this in the last few years and the growth in commercial construction has been a big plus for the construction industry. Will create $7M a year for trails, open
     
    Issue 2D
    TABOR Retention & Wildfire Mitigation Vote YES!
    Fire mitigation is a huge issue for the Colorado Springs area and future development. This question asks voters if the city can retain and spend up to $20 million of city revenue over the TABOR cap to be used solely for wildfire mitigation and prevention overseen by the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD). The city council voted 9-0 to refer this question to the voters.
     
    AGC Invests in No on Castle Rock Ballot Question 2A Campaign
    AGC has invested in the NO on Castle Rock Ballot Question 2A Campaign.  2A would levy a new $7 per square foot tax on new housing. That’s another $21,000 on a 3,000-sf home. Housing growth leads to commercial construction growth, and a $7 p/sf tax on new home construction will dampen new home building in the area. Plus this idea could spread if approved by voters in Castle Rock.
     
    AGC Invests in 2 Colorado Springs Ballot Measure Campaigns
    AGC has invested in the YES on Issue 2C and Issue 2D campaigns. Issue 2C will allow Colorado Springs to continue to invest in park, open space and urban trail infrastructure and Issue 2D will allow the city to invest in badly needed wildfire mitigation improvements.
     
    AGC Invests in Yes on Denver 2A-E $450M Bond Measure
    AGC has invested in the YES on Denver 2A-E campaign. Denver 2A-E would provide a $450M bond for Denver building and infrastructure projects. Denver has passed successful bond campaigns including major bonds in 2007 and 2017.
     
    AGC Invests in No on Denver 304
    AGC has invested in the NO on the 304 campaign. Initiated Ordinance 304 would result in an $80M cut to police, fire, and other city services at a time when the downtown business district needs more of these services.
     
    AGC Represents Construction Industry at Important Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Meeting
    During the pandemic, unemployment insurance benefits paid exceeded revenue from UI premiums such that the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund reached a deficit balance of $1B. That deficit was financed by an interest free federal loan. Loan interest was due starting Sept 1, 2021. As we come out of the pandemic UI premium revenues are starting to cover current UI claims costs. However, that $1B deficit remains and will drive fairly steep premium rate increases on all Colorado businesses (including construction firms) in the next few years. AGC is part of a coalition advocating for the state legislature and Governor to use some of the federal COVID funds to pay down the deficit - as other states have done. The legislature is still considering options on this issue, and we will keep you updated as this issue moves forward.

  • Federal

    OSHA COVID-19 Testing Mandate Under White House Review
    AGC Seeks Meeting with White House; Engaged Legal Counsel
    On October 12, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sent its draft emergency temporary standard (ETS) to the White House for review, a signal that a final ETS could be issued within a matter of days or weeks. The OSHA ETS will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or mandate that any workers who remain unvaccinated produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis. AGC plans to meet with the White House to share a host of concerns about the ETS. It should be noted, however, that AGC engaged outside legal counsel weeks ago to provide a legal memorandum that identifies the standards that OSHA must meet to justify using the ETS process instead of the normal administrative procedures that are typically employed. After AGC reviews the final, published ETS, the association will measure it against its legal memorandum to determine whether a court challenge is warranted and evaluate our chances for success. For further information, please click here.
     
    Updates on Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate
    AGC Hosts Webinar; Continues Dialogue with Agencies; Engaged Legal Counsel
    On October 14, AGC held a webinar—free for AGC members—with the prominent federal procurement law firm Crowell & Moring to run through the ins and outs of the federal contractor vaccine mandate from a construction contractor perspective. A recording of the webinar and its slides will be made available shortly. The General Services Administration also held its own webinar on October 13, the slides from which can be found here and a recording will be made available by the agency soon. For more information on how other federal agencies are addressing this mandate, click here. AGC is maintaining ongoing dialogue with many of the major federal construction agencies and will meet with them at the association’s Federal Contractors Conference November 8-9 in Washington, D.C. As with the OSHA ETS COVID-19 testing mandate, AGC similarly retained outside legal counsel weeks ago to evaluate legal options to challenge this requirement and has received a legal memorandum to guide the association’s actions. For further information, please click here.
     
    What’s the latest from Federal Construction Agencies?
    Limited Space Left for AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference
    Register today! Do not miss the opportunity to speak directly to key federal construction owner agency officials about how they plan to handle the federal contractor vaccine mandate, the impact on the construction industry, and their existing and future projects at AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference, held in-person on November 8-9 in Washington, D.C. Key officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, General Services Administration and Small Business Administration will be in attendance along with many representatives from leading construction contractors throughout the country. For further information, please click here.
     
    AGC Dispels Myths About the $1.2 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
    Releases New Myth v. Fact Document
    With misinformation in the public sphere about the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (formerly titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), AGC has produced a myth versus fact document—click here—to help correct the record. The AGC co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) recently took issue with a “fact sheet” put forth by House Republican leadership that included several misrepresentations. In addition, the TCC shared its consternation with the House Democrats’ Progressive Caucus delaying a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. You can find an overall AGC summary of the bipartisan infrastructure bill here. Additionally, a breakdown of what’s in the bill for each construction market can be found here: Highway ContractorsUtility ContractorsDirect Federal ContractorsBuilding Contractors; and Other Markets (Transit, Rail, Waterways, Airports). For further information, please click here.

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