AGC Advocacy Report
Michael Gifford, AGC President & CEO
July 6, 2020
StateGreat News!!! AGC Helps to Overturn CO Executive Order 65AGC is part of the coalition challenging CO Executive Order 65 allowing for electronic signature gathering for the Nov 2020 ballot (AGC invested $10,000 in the coalition). Last week the Colorado Supreme Court issued its ruling reversing the district court's judgement and concluding that CO Executive Order 65 is unconstitutional. Electronic signature gathering could have allowed several bad for business measures to reach the Nov 2020 ballot.Hickenlooper Wins June 30 Primary, Faces Gardner in Nov 2020Former Colorado Governor and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper defeated Andrew Romanoff in the June 30 primary election and will face Republican Senator Cory Gardner for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat in the November general election. Five-term Republican Congressman Scott Tipton lost his primary reelection bid in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District to challenger Lauren Boebert. She will face Democrat Denise Mitch-Bush in November.AGC is “On It” for What’s NextAGC is “On It” for what’s next. The AGC Legislative Committee will meet on July 7 to review the results of the June 30 Primary Election, and work on the following activities:
The next AGC Legislative Committee is July 8 at 7:30am via ZoomRoom. To join the 55 other members of the committee, email Polly Mize at the AGC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Polly at 303-388-2422.AGC CEO Michael Gifford to Take Part in Waters of the US (WOTUS) Panel with CDPHEAGC President & CEO Michael Gifford has been invited by the Colorado Dept of Environmental Health and Environment (CDPHE) to participate in a panel discussion on the new Waters of the US (WOTUS) federal rules on July 23, 2020. The new rules affect the issuance of Army Corps 404 permits and EPA 401 permits prior to commencing any development and construction.
- Invite new legislators to AGC/BJ4C candidate interviews on July 22, 23 & 29 (AGC members are welcome to attend after speaking with AGC CEO Michael Gifford at email@example.com or 720-235-1901)
- Prepare the AGC PAC (Political Action Committee) plan for contributions to existing and new candidates for the state legislature
- Analyze all the initiated and referred measures heading to the Nov 2020 ballot and recommend positions to the AGC Board for action on July 22, 2020
- Prepare an AGC Voter Guide for the Nov 2020 election
House of Representatives Passes $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill
On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure investment bill—the largest and broadest federal investment in the nation’s infrastructure ever. Among the investment included in the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) is more than $500 billion for transportation construction, $130 billion for school construction, and $75 billion for water infrastructure construction. The bill, however, also includes certain untenable policies added during the largely partisan legislative process. Those policies are highly unlikely to advance through the Republican-controlled Senate, which will not consider this infrastructure package, or be enacted given President Trump’s veto threat. The Senate is more likely to consider targeted, more modest infrastructure investment—absent such policies—when it puts forth its pandemic relief bill by the end of July. Click here for further information on this legislation and AGC's position on it.
AGC President Testifies Before Senate EPW Committee
Discusses Need for Bipartisan, Long-Term Surface Transportation Reauthorization
On July 1, AGC President Bob Lanham testified before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) on the subject of “Infrastructure Development Opportunities to Drive Economic Recovery and Resiliency.” During his testimony, he lauded the Committee for its bipartisan passage of the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) and articulated the need for the full Congress to pass a long-term, bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bill. During the hearing, Lanham spoke favorably of ATIA, specifically citing provisions that would provide for regulatory and environmental streamlining, as well as provide a solid framework for building more resilient transportation infrastructure. He also highlighted the need for Congress to provide an infusion of federal funding to state departments of transportation as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on state transportation revenues. Click here to watch Lanham’s testimony.
Congress Extends Paycheck Protection Program Loan Application Deadline
On June 29, the Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent to extend the deadline for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications by five weeks, to August 8th. On June 30, the House agreed to the Senate bill, also by unanimous consent, and President Trump is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days.
At midnight on June 30th, per the CARES Act legislation that set up the PPP loan program, the SBA’s authority to accept new PPP loan applications expired. However, there is still approximately $130 billion in loan authority available in the program. After passage of this new legislation, borrowers interested in applying for a PPP loan will now have until August 8th. Any business interested in applying for a forgivable loan should talk to an SBA-approved lender.
House Committee Releases, Senate Votes on Annual Defense Bill
Significant Procurement Reforms Included
On July 1, the House Armed Services Committee overwhelmingly passed (56-0) H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. In addition, on July 2, the Senate is set to vote on it’s version of the FY2021 NDAA (S.4049). AGC has provided feedback to both chambers on provisions important to federal construction contractors. AGC will continue to monitor the NDAA as it moves through the legislative process and will advocate for further reforms when both chambers have passed their respective measures and work towards a final bill. Click here for further details on these measures.
DOL Adds Summer School and Camp Closures to Emergency Paid Leave Qualifications
Provides Online Tool to Help Workers Determine Eligibility
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently issued a Field Assistance Bulletin addressing paid sick or expanded family and medical leave eligibility under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Specifically, Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-4 provides guidance on when an employee qualifies to take paid leave under the FFCRA to care for his or her child based on the closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program, or other summer program for coronavirus-related reasons. Click here for further information on this guidance.
Catch the Government Updates at AGC’s Construction SH&E Virtual Conference
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will participate at the upcoming AGC Construction Safety, Health & Environmental Virtual Conference on July 14-16, 2020. With significant changes and others in the works for several water programs, it will be a great opportunity to hear directly from the agencies. Find out what they have on their agenda – that will make its way onto your to do list -- and take this opportunity to ask your questions.
That’s just two great reasons to attend. Need a few more?
- Learn from your peers and interact in a safe, online environment.
- Get up-to-date information on a range of environmental compliance issues.
- Find out how to work through uncomfortable situations and communicate effectively to navigate crises and avoid accidents or fines.
- Hear about technology and trends across the SH&E spectrum that you can apply to your company.
- Discuss ways COVID has changed jobsites and what it means to operate in a new normal.
The added benefit of a virtual format is that the educational sessions will be recorded: If you have to step away for a meeting or want to attend another breakout session --- you won’t miss a thing. Click here to register.