Paving Contractors Push Congress for Long-Term Highway Bill

A delegation of Washington State contractors travelled to Washington DC last week to participate in a national “fly-in” to push Congress to among other things pass long-term reauthorization of the federal highway bill. Mike and Tim Lee and George Peabody of Lakeside Industries joined Pamp Maiers...
Posted on: 06/02/2010

Climate Change Bill Would Siphon Transportation Dollars…

AGC of America says the Senate climate change bill neglects efforts to cut traffic congestion and breaks a decades-long promise that transportation user fees will be dedicated to financing highway and transit improvements. AGC and transportation partners sent a letter to Senators Kerry and Lieber...
Posted on: 05/25/2010

…Meanwhile, EPA Seeks to Regulate CO2 Via Clean Air Act

While Congress continues to debate legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide) that may cause climate change the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing forward with its own regulations under the Clean Air Act to pressure Congress to act. Senator Murkowski h...
Posted on: 05/25/2010

AGC Webinar: What Did or Didn't The Legislature Do This Year?

The Legislature and the Governor have acted and now AGC wants you to know how these bills will affect your company including such things as new public works off-site prefabrication requirements B&O tax increase on selected services changes to the Reseller Permit alternative selection process ...
Posted on: 05/11/2010

Improvements Made to Reseller Permit

AGC successfully lobbied for improvements to the reseller permit laws making them more practical for contractors. One of the changes allows the Department of Revenue to issue permits for a two-year period to contractors rather than the current requirement for one-year permits. While that’s a po...
Posted on: 04/27/2010

What Impact Will the New Health Care Law Have on Construction Employers?

From AGC of America: Free webinar for AGC members (May 6 10 a.m.) will detail the health care bill the sweeping changes to the delivery of health care the impact on construction employers and their responsibilities and requirements to offer health care benefits to employees. Click Health Care We...
Posted on: 04/14/2010

Final Rule on Federal PLAs Gives Agencies Broad Discretion

From AGC of America: The FAR Council has issued a final rule implementing Executive Order 13502 on the use of project labor agreements on federal construction projects giving contracting agencies broad discretion to determine whether to impose a PLA mandate on a project. READ MORE PLA Executive ...
Posted on: 04/14/2010

Legislature Goes Into Extra Innings

With big league ballplayers loosening up for the fast-approaching baseball season the Washington State Legislature has gone into extra innings as they wrestle with the mountainous problems facing them in balancing the state budgets. Upon adjournment last Thursday evening Governor Gregoire called...
Posted on: 03/16/2010

Streamlined Permitting Bill Makes Headway

Legislation that might be headed for passage would shorten turnaround times for permits and expedite the approval process for major developments. Although passed from committee after the normal legislative cutoff date SB 6578 might have been positioned to be included in the Senate budget because...
Posted on: 03/09/2010

Off-Site Prefab Bill Passes Legislature; AGC Seeks Veto

AGC-opposed legislation requires general and subcontractors on non-transportation related public works projects over $1 million to submit to the state information regarding any off-site prefabricated nonstandard project-specific items produced outside Washington. The bill SB 2805 passed both the...
Posted on: 03/09/2010

Federal Highway Trust Fund Shuts Down; WSDOT Projects Could be Delayed

(Take action! See AGC of America request at end of article!) As of press time Tuesday morning the US Congress had not yet passed legislation to extend the Federal Highway Trust Fund authorization. SAFETEA-LU the federal transportation funding act expired Sunday Feb. 28 at midnight. As a result...
Posted on: 03/02/2010

General Liability Policies Cover Subcontractor Defects, Says MS Supreme Court

In a decision that could have implications for Washington State in the future the Mississippi Supreme Court recently ruled that contractors are covered under their commercial general liability policies for subcontractor work later found to be defective. According to an article in Engineering New...
Posted on: 03/02/2010

PLAs, Trust Fund Raids as Part of Budget Battles?

It seems that the budget battles in every legislative session are used to provide cover for under-the-radar policy changes and trust fund raids. This year is no different. Here are some of the issues AGC is working on right now in Olympia: • “Labor Peace Agreement” – The Supplemental Capital B...
Posted on: 03/02/2010

AGC Efforts Defeat State False Claims Act

By Tymon Berger Portions of the following article first appeared in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce on February 19 2010. Thanks to the efforts of AGC of Washington for the second consecutive year the Washington legislature has decided against a state-based false claims statute. The state...
Posted on: 03/02/2010

Unemployment Insurance Expansion Bill Appears Dead

Some good news from Olympia: The bill to expand unemployment insurance benefits – and therefore taxes – appears dead. The measure would have expanded benefits to part-time workers reversed last year’s voluntary quit change extended the additional $45 weekly benefit amount through 2010 and enact...
Posted on: 02/23/2010

AGC Opposes Revised Off-Site Prefab Bill

The off-site prefabrication legislation strongly opposed by AGC has been amended and generally made simpler but is still is unworkable. The original version of HB 2805 said that for public works contracts over $1 million contractors and subs must submit a certified list to the awarding agency an...
Posted on: 02/23/2010

Contact Your Legislator: Keep SR 520 Project Moving

Urge your state Representatives to support ESSB 6392 the SR 520 corridor legislation as it passed the Senate. Legislation approved in 2007 limited the use of bond proceeds only to the construction of the floating bridge and necessary landings. ESSB 6392 allows revenues from bonds to be used for ...
Posted on: 02/23/2010

Plan to Expand UI Benefits Disastrous for Business: Contact Your Legislator

As previously reported the Legislature is considering costly benefit expansions in the unemployment insurance (UI) system that will raise UI taxes even higher than they are now. Every Washington state employer experienced an increase in their UI taxes this year and many experienced increases exc...
Posted on: 02/16/2010

Proposed \Shadow Gas Tax\: Budget Reduction or Environmental Protection?

Legislation that would triple the tax-on-toxics ostensibly to combat pollution in Puget Sound instead looks like a means to help balance the state budget. These bills (HB 3181/SB 6851) would increase the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) tax passed by voter initiative in the 1980s and placed on ha...
Posted on: 02/16/2010

Legislation Could Increase Unemployment Insurance Taxes Yet Again

(Editor’s note: How much have your UI rates gone up? Legislators have asked AGC lobbyists for real-world impacts on both large and small companies. Please take a moment to share this info – the amount of recent increases plus any broader impact on your firm – to Christine Swanson 360-352-5000. Th...
Posted on: 02/09/2010

Off-Site Prefab Bill Passes Commerce and Labor

The House Commerce and Labor Committee passed HB 2805 the off-site prefabrication legislation. AGC strongly opposes the bill which says that for public works contracts over $1 million contractors and subs must submit a certified list to the awarding agency and L&I of any off-site prefabricat...
Posted on: 02/02/2010

AGC Supports Two-Year Sales Tax Permit - But Start It Earlier

Legislation would allow contractors to apply for a Resellers Permit every two years rather than annually. AGC strongly supports that but will seek changes to another element of the bill. The legislation (Senate Bill 6551 and House Bill 2758) would put off implementation of the two-year permit un...
Posted on: 02/02/2010

Bill Allows Private Organizations to Provide Utility Infrastructure

A bill (SB 6808) allowing private utilities to provide infrastructure needed for economic development received support from AGC. Craig Goodwin of Northwest Cascade is scheduled to testify at a hearing on the bill tomorrow Feb. 3. “This allowance is an important tool to help realize the full bene...
Posted on: 02/02/2010

AGC Opposes False Claims Legislation

Once again AGC is opposing false claims legislation introduced by Sen. Adam Kline (D-37). AGC member Douglas Roach of Ahlers & Cressman testified against the measure at a Jan. 15 hearing. Among other things the bill states that a person who knowingly presents a false or fraudulent claim for ...
Posted on: 01/19/2010

Health Care Reform Proposal Singles Out Construction Industry for Fines and Regulations

Contact your congressional representatives! Click here for more info and to access AGC of America’s easy-to-use congressional contact system. The health care reform package passed by U.S. Senate includes language by Senator Merkley (D-Ore.) that singles out small construction firms for harsher t...
Posted on: 01/05/2010