Act Now: Senate Voting on Workers' Comp Bills Early Next Week

The State Senate will be voting on a package of workers compensation reform bills strongly supported by AGC. Please take a moment to urge your Senator to vote YES on all of these bills: SB 5127 - Allows any worker regardless of age (currently only those 55 and older may do so) to accept structu...
Posted on: 01/30/2013

Support Senate Bill 5112: Granting Scheduling Authority for Qualified Retro Plans

Please ACT NOW! The Washington State Senate is expected to vote on Senate Bill 5112 early next week. Please send your Senator a message urging him to support 5112. Bottom line: SB 5112 is a common sense bill that allows experienced Retro claims managers to schedule Independent Medical Examinati...
Posted on: 01/30/2013

AGC Opposes Covered Loads Bill

AGC is opposing covered loads legislation. House Bill 1007: Requires that from August 1 2013 through June 30 2014 any vehicles operating on a paved public highway hauling dirt sand rocks or gravel susceptible to escaping must use a cover if the vehicle is equipped with a load cover. Requires...
Posted on: 01/22/2013

After I-502: Be Consistent in Policy Enforcement

by Mandi Kime AGC Safety Director In early January AGC hosted a Safety Forum on the topic of drug testing now that Initiative 502 (legalization of marijuana) has passed. With representatives from WCISAP Ahlers & Cressman PLLC and an Employee Assistance Program we discussed the impacts of th...
Posted on: 01/22/2013

Pot Initiative: Implications for the Workplace

Passage of Initiative 502 which legalized marijuana use under state law is not expected to have much impact on workplace drug policies. As noted in the Ahlers & Cressman Construction Law Blog presented below employers may maintain drug-free workplace policies which prohibit employees from us...
Posted on: 11/26/2012

Tower Cranes and Neighbors' Air Rights -- Should Contractors Pay?

By John P. Ahlers and Lindsay K. Taft Ahlers & Cressman PLLC Over the past decade or so although noticeably less so in the past few years tower cranes have been a ubiquitous part of both Seattle and Bellevue’s skyline. A visual barometer of the construction market’s health the operation of...
Posted on: 10/29/2012

Be Aware of Changes to Excavation Operation Statutes

By John P. Ahlers and Paige B. Spratt Ahlers & Cressman With the Washington Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act the Legislature made changes to the one-call statute. The Act which is not effective until January 1 2013 is a response to incidents involving underground utilities that have...
Posted on: 06/05/2012

NLRB's “Quickie Election” Rule Deemed Invalid

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB or Board) new rule revising election procedures in union representation cases is invalid the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled May 14. The rule often called the “quickie election” or “ambush election” rule because it expedites the el...
Posted on: 05/21/2012

Major Victory: Court Unanimously Sides with Contractor in Insurance Case

by John Riper Ashbaugh Beal On May 17 the Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on a case that the construction industry has not only been watching carefully but also directly participated in. Ahlers & Cressman’s John Ahlers and I briefed and argued the case to the Supreme Co...
Posted on: 05/21/2012

AGC's 2012 Legislative Recap

The following bills passed the Legislature. EHB 2660 - Transportation Revenue AGC: Supported Summary: This legislation was originally introduced as the Governor’s request bill to generate new revenue for transportation which included the proposed $1.50 per/barrel of oil fee. The bill passed ou...
Posted on: 04/17/2012

Capital Projects Measure Passes with Strong Support from AGC

A $44 million nursing facility in Walla Walla a $3 million Lake Sammamish event structure and a $63 million UW Bothell building are among the projects that will be funded and built thanks to passage of a Capital Projects package that was a top priority of AGC. The legislative package fast-tracks...
Posted on: 04/17/2012

Federal Contracting Reform

Local contractors AGC of America staff AGC of Washington staff and federal contracting experts from around the country have been collaborating for the last few weeks in an attempt to find solutions to an overreliance on multiple award contracts or the bundling of federal contracts nationwide. The...
Posted on: 04/27/2011

AGC Government Affairs Team Ready for Special Session

Starting today the Legislature will be in a special session called by Gov. Gregoire. Among the unresolved issues important to contractors are the Operating and Capital Budgets workers’ comp reform and a debt limit proposal. Click Special Session for a copy of the Governor’s proclamation that del...
Posted on: 04/26/2011

More than Meets the Eye to Debt Limit Proposal

Construction spending by the state could shrink by $8.6 billion over the next 20 years should a proposed amendment to the state constitution be enacted. AGC opposes a legislative resolution (SSJR 8215) that seeks to reduce what the Legislature can borrow by gradually lowering the debt limit in t...
Posted on: 04/26/2011

Tell Speaker Chopp to move the Eddy striker to ESB 5566

Dont Adjourn without Workers Comp Reform! House members have been waiting for weeks to take a vote on the bi-partisan Engrossed Senate Bill 5566 making much-needed equitable changes to the states workers comp system. Thus far the bill has been held up in committee by Rep. Mike Sells (D-38 Everet...
Posted on: 04/20/2011

Bill to Fix Lien Process Appears Dead in Senate

Legislation prepared by the AGC Legal Affairs Committee to fix mechanics’ lien processes muddled by the Athletic Fields court decision progressed a long way through the legislative process but unfortunately did not pass the Senate before the final cut-off date. The legislation – House Bill 1708 ...
Posted on: 04/13/2011

1099 Mandate Repealed; 3 Percent Withholding Looms

AGC of America achieved a significant victory as the Congress passed – and the President is expected to sign – legislation to repeal the new IRS Form reporting mandate enacted in last year’s healthcare bill. The mandate would have required businesses beginning in 2012 to report to the IRS all pa...
Posted on: 04/13/2011

Support ESB 5566: Bring True Workers' Comp Reform to a Vote

We need to put pressure on members of the House of Representatives Speaker Frank Chopp and Governor Christine Gregoire to get Engrossed Senate Bill 5566 passed out of the State House. Labor is adamantly opposed to the bill and House Labor and Workforce Development Chair (and longtime Snohomish C...
Posted on: 04/07/2011

Oppose ESHB 1701: Misclassification of Contractors as Independent Contractors

Labor unions continue their push to enact legislation which they characterize as needed to stop underground contractors from competing unfairly. However their bill Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1701 wrongly focuses its attention on legitimate contractor practices. Engrossed Substitute House B...
Posted on: 03/29/2011

Independent Contractor Bill is Unnecessary and Convoluted

AGC is opposing legislation that will needlessly complicate the way general contractors hire subs exposing contractors to potential penalties if they hire in good faith legitimate one-person firms. The bill EHSB 1701 purports to address the misclassification of construction workers as independen...
Posted on: 03/29/2011

ACTION ALERT: Oppose SB 5599 and SHB 1701: Changes to the Independent Contractors Law

Labor unions are pushing the Legislature to make major changes to the law which will have a profound effect on how contractors manage their work on construction projects. Senate Bill 5599 and Substitute House Bill 1701 would require all contractors using more than two individuals working under i...
Posted on: 03/04/2011

ACTION ALERT: Oppose SHB 1676/SSB 5068: Stop Needless Mandatory Abatement

Labor unions and the Department of Labor & Industries are pushing the Legislature to make major changes to workplace safety law which will have a profound effect on how contractors are regulated by L&I in issuing and managing compliance with allegations of safety violations. Substitute ...
Posted on: 03/04/2011

Senate Changes Preference Bill into Reciprocity Bill

Legislation that was once opposed by AGC has now evolved into one that it supports after major amendments by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Senate Bill 5662 and House Bill 1809 would have originally established a seven percent preference for “resident contractors” on public works projects ...
Posted on: 03/01/2011

False Claims Legislation Dies

AGC had strongly opposed “false claims” bill that would have created an utterly untenable situation for public works contractors because of the Mike M. Johnson court decision. (Click False Claims for a previous AGC Works article on the measure.) The bill did not meet a legislative cut-off date an...
Posted on: 03/01/2011

Legislation Protects Employers from Unintended Liability for Commute Time

By John Riper Ashbaugh Beal LLP In employment lawsuits it is rare for Washington courts to reach a result that makes both employers and employees worse off but that happened several years ago in a case over compensation for commute time. In 2007 the Washington Supreme Court ruled that an employ...
Posted on: 03/01/2011