AGC Advocacy Report
Michael Gifford, AGC President & CEO
February 22, 2019StateSHOP Act Approved by Senate 34-0 and Heads to Gov Polis for SigntureAGC’s bill to help add shop class back into high schools was approved by the Senate on a 34-0 vote and now heads to Gov Polis for signature. HB19-1008 the SHOP Act would allow school districts in Colorado apply for a state BEST Grant to build or remodel and outfit a shop for programs like automotive, construction or health care. AGC and HBA Colorado Springs have 10 Careers in Construction high school construction programs up and running with 500 students taking construction classes, and AGC is planning to add more high schools in 2019-20. Check out www.GoBuildCo.com for more info. To get involved contact Lisa Seaman at the AGC at 303-388-2422 or firstname.lastname@example.orgOther News
FederalFAA Proposes Drone Rule ChangesThree Separate Rules AddressedThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published three separate rules on drone use that could impact use of these devices in construction operations. AGC has a task force that has been addressing drone use as it impacts construction and this group will be formulating AGC's response to these initiatives. The first proposed rule addresses the operation of small unmanned aircraft over people. The proposal would amend FAA's Part 107 rules to allow for commercial operations of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over people and at night. They also would address common scenarios where operators seek waivers. The proposed rules are notable in that they suggest FAA interest in regulating manufacturers as opposed to operators. Comments on the proposal are due April 15, 2019. Read MoreNew FAA Drone Registration Display RuleRule Takes Effect Feb. 25On Feb. 13, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an interim final rule—taking effect on Feb. 25, 2019—requiring drone owners to display the FAA registration number on the external surface of a drone upon completion of the registration process. Drone owners are no longer permitted to enclose the registration number in a compartment.Read MoreAGC Supports Bipartisan Tax-Repeal LegislationACA Taxes Continue to Plague Employee BenefitsOn Feb. 19, AGC endorsed bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored coverage, known as the Cadillac tax, and a Senate-introduced bipartisan bill to repeal the health insurance tax (HIT). While the Cadillac tax was initially intended to target "high cost" employer-sponsored health coverage, it is now estimated to impact the vast majority of employee benefits plans and force employers to cut or limit employee benefits. The HIT is a direct tax on fully-insured carriers which is passed along to the customer – small and mid-size businesses and the millions of hardworking Americans and their families that are enrolled in this type of employment-based coverage. Read the letters of support here and here. Read MoreAGC Analysis of FY 2019 Federal Construction AccountsOn Feb. 15, Congress approved funding for those federal agencies previously operating under a continuing resolution—including the Department of Transportation, General Services Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, among others. This legislation, coupled with previously passed fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bills, provides annual funding to all agencies of the federal government through September 30, 2019. Overall, federal construction accounts saw about a two percent increase—or $4.5 billion—in funding in comparison to FY 2018 funding levels. A full AGC analysis of federal construction accounts for FY 2019 can be found here. Read More
- HB19-1055 which allocates another $8M annually to the BEST Grant Program clears House Education Committee 12-1 and Heads to House Finance. AGC CEO Michael Gifford will testify on the bill next week.
- AGC Legislative Committee members met this week and reviewed another batch of just introduced bills. Click here or above to review the AGC Bill Tracker and see which bills could affect your construction business.
- AGC lobbyists Jeff Weist, Laura Long and Amy Attwood spent the week contacting members of the state House and Senate members about the various bills AGC is supporting and opposing. Some of the topics deal with state electrical and plumbing inspections and fees, and state capital construction/controlled maintenance project and BEST project funding.
- AGC continues to participate as member of the Executive Committee of the No on 300 campaign. Initiative 300 is on the May 2019 ballot in Denver and would remove the “Camping Ban” on city property. Homeless advocates are seeking the right to occupy public sidewalks and parks full-time for the homeless community. AGC supports helping the homeless but does not believe Initiative 300 is the answer. For more info go to Together No on 300
- Click here for a recent column on Initiative 300 in the Denver Post