• AGC Advocacy Report

  • Michael Gifford, AGC President & CEO
    May 13, 2022

     

     

  • State

     

    2022 Legislative Session Results
    AGC faced a tough situation in the 2022 Legislative session, with one party control of both the House & Senate and Governor’s office. AGC’s strategy of having CEO Michael Gifford, 3 accomplished lobbyists, an expanded legislative committee of 50 members, a new small/minority business team, and funding 15 different coalitions resulted in killing or significantly weakening bad for construction bills, and passing a few key initiatives for the industry, including:
    • $600M infusion into the Unemployment Insurance System to save contractors $100 per employee in UIO premiums
    • $141M in funding for the state capitol complex construction projects
    • Enabling P3 projects for all state agencies (currently only CDOT & Higher ED could do P3)
    • $600M in state capital construction & controlled maintenance projects
    • $110M in BEST Matching Grant funding for K-12 school projects
    • $91M & $3M workforce development grant programs (construction is eligible)

    Below are some of the major bills AGC worked on during the session. For a complete see the AGC Bill Tracker 

     

    Capital Construction, Controlled Maintenance & BEST Grant Funding
    AGC lobbied the legislature to provide maximum funding possible for state construction projects, maintenance projects and K-12 school construction matching grants. 
     
    Capital Construction – The legislature approved $491M in funding for capital construction projects, much higher than in the past few years.
     
    Controlled Maintenance – The legislature approved $115M in controlled maintenance projects.
     
    BEST – The legislature approved $110M in Building Excellent Schools Today matching grants to local school districts for K-12 school construction projects.
     
    House Bills
     
    HB22-1024 Sales & Use Tax Exception Municipal Public School Construction SUPPORT
    This bill extends the existing sales & use tax exemption for K-12 school buildings projects at most cities  -to include the four remaining home rule cities that still levied the tax on materials used in K-12 school construction. The bill was approved by the legislature and signed by the governor.
     
    HB22-1119 False Claims Act AMEND
    This bill proposed to establish a “Colorado False Claims Act” that was much tougher on businesses than even the federal False Claims Act. AGC took a lead role, with help from member attorneys who sit on the AGC Legislative Committee, in obtaining over a dozen important amendments to make this bill less harmful to construction companies. It was approved by the legislature and is sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    HB22-1138 Reduce Employee Single - Occupancy Vehicle Trips OPPOSE
    This bill would have mandated carpooling to work including most construction offices and sites, in an attempt to improve air quality. AGC worked with a coalition to kill this bill 9-2 in its first committee hearing.
     
    HB22-1152 Prohibit Employer Adverse Action Marijuana Use OPPOSE
    This bill would have allowed employees to use medical marijuana both on and off the job, even in high-risk industries like construction. AGC worked with a few other business groups and killed this bill in its first committee.
     
    HB22-1218 Resource Efficiency Buildings Electric Buildings AMEND
    This bill proposed to require contractors of multi-use buildings with residential component and multi-family residential buildings (new construction and remodeling projects) to have 50% of its parking spaces EV ready or with EV charging stations. AGC lobbied to make this a requirement of a building owner or designer, not the contractor. The amendment was added and the bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    HB22-1310 529 Account Apprenticeship Expenses SUPPORT
    This bill allows apprenticeship tuition and related expenses to be paid by a 529 account. It was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    HB22-1346 Electrician Plumber Licensing Apprentice Ratio AMEND
    This bill proposed to change the ratio of apprentice to licensed electrician or plumber (journeyperson) from 3:1 to 1:1, not allow a master electrician or plumber to apply for a permit when they are not the employee or owner of a firm, and enable inspecting entities to check for licenses and verify ratios. The change in ratio was graded by the AGC legislative committee to be helpful in some limited circumstances, but was seen as further restricting an already short supply of labor on projects. AGC met with the bill proponents and the proponents then agreed to drop the change in ratio from 3:1 to 1:1 from the bill. The other 2 sections survived, and the bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    HB22-1350 Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program SUPPORT
    This bill proposes a $91M economic development & workforce grant program in the Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT). AGC gained an important amendment to the bill to prioritize several industries include the construction industry. The bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    HB22-1362 Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions OPPOSE
    This bill mandates that by 2026, cities and counties update to an energy code that is equivalent or better than the 2021 IEC Code, and a model electric & solar ready code developed by the Governor’s Colorado Energy Office. AGC and the HOA Coalition opposed this bill because the COE does not have any experience in writing building codes. AGC and HOA could not stop the bill but made major changes and were able to get the legislature to add an advisory board of experts to give contractor and building owner input into the new energy codes. The bill also sets up 2 new grant programs for public building compliance. After the amendments AGC moved its position to neutral. The bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    HB22-1363 Accountability to Taxpayers Special Districts OPPOSE
    This bill would have significantly discouraged future funding of infrastructure for commercial, mixed-use & residential real estate development by restricting the use of metro districts.  The bill barely made it through the house on a 33-32 vote, but AGC and the HOA Coalition (which AGC helped form in 2017 and has continued funding for situations like this) were able to stop it in the Senate. This was the 2nd bill of the session where proponents tried to slow or stop the use of metro districts for real estate development.
     
    Senate Bills
     
    SB22-130 State Entity Authority for Public-Private Partnerships SUPPORT
    This bill allows the state to enter into an agreement with a private partner to for a P3. State entity includes the executive, legislative or judicial branch but excludes CDOT and Higher ED (they both have separate authority). The bill was approved by the legislature and was sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    SB22-136 Special District Governance OPPOSE
    This bill would have significantly discouraged future funding of infrastructure for commercial, mixed-use & residential real estate development by restricting the use of metro districts.  AGC and the HOA Coalition (which AGC helped form in 2017 and has continued funding for situations like this) were able to stop it in its first committee by a 4-2 vote. This was the 1st of two attempts to slow or stop the use of metro districts for real estate development. 
     
    SB22-140 Expansion of Experiential Learning Opportunities SUPPORT
    This bill provides $3M for grants to employers per each intern or employee they hire for certain occupations, and funds for industry intermediaries to connect employers to the program. AGC was an intermediary for 5 years under an earlier version of this bill and helped contractors qualify for the grants. The bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    SB22-161 Wage Theft Employee Misclassification Enforcement AMEND
    This bill proposed to make it much easier for individuals who had received an adjudicated wage theft decision by the Colorado Dept of Labor & Employment, to collect on that wage claim. But in the process the proponents had altered over 100 years of lien rights and processes and changed many other long-standing wage claim processes. In the end AGC took the lead in obtaining over a dozen amendments, and removing the entire lien rights part of the bill, and testified in support of trying to end wage theft in Colorado. The bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    SB22-163 Establish State Procurement Equity Program SUPPORT
    This bill follows up on the 2019 Disparity Study by the legislature and establishes a workgroup under the Dept of Personnel & Administration to set up a State Procurement Equity Program for all state procurement (including construction). AGC was able to amend the bill to add an AGC seat on the workgroup. Recommendations and any legislation needed are due to the legislature b January 2025. The bill was approved by the legislature and sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    SB22-234 Unemployment Compensation SUPPORT
    This bill infuses $600M into the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund which will help address the current $1B deficit balance caused by the pandemic, and save all businesses, including construction companies, $100 per employee per year in unemployment insurance premiums. The bill was approved by the legislature and was sent to the Governor’s Office for approval.
     
    SB22-239 Buildings in the Capitol Complex SUPPORT
    This bill provides $141M to upgrade the 22 buildings in the State Capitol Complex including the state capitol and proper space for legislators and the public to conduct the legislative session, for the state to consolidate more department operations near the capitol, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from state operations. The bill was approved by the legislature and was sent to the Governor’s Office for signature.
     
    AGC Legislative Committee to Meet on May 17 to Celebrate the End of the 2022 Legislative Session
    The AGC Legislative Committee will hold a reception on May 17 in the afternoon to celebrate the end of the session and thank committee members for all their hard work in representing the construction industry this year. If you are interested in checking out the committee or joining us please contact AGC Office Manager Nicole Hoekstra at nicole@agccolorado.org.

  • Federal

    USACE/AGC Talk PLAS & Inflation; Renew Partnership
    CEO and economist brief Army Corps of Engineers leaders on government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) and construction materials inflation. Read more
     
    Got Questions for A Federal Agency? Submit Them for AGC’S Federal Contractors Conference
    Register today for AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference: June 20-22. - Read more
     
    Surety From a Different Angle
    Whether you are undertaking or supporting the next challenging project, you always look for new ways to build smarter. Read more
     
    HUD Delays New Buy America Requirements
    With new Buy America requirements set for inclusion in federally funded contracts awarded on or after May 14, HUD joins USDOT in delaying those requirements for six months. Read more
     
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