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

Brace Yourself: Washington Legislature Convenes Next Week

State lawmakers return to Olympia on Monday for the start of the 2010 legislative session and many issues important to the construction industry will be in play: workers’ comp reform infrastructure investments retainage release improvements fixes to the wholesalers’ sales tax permit system and mo...
Posted on: 01/05/2010

AGC Challenges Proposed \Responsible Bidder\ Ordinance

(Editor’s note: Have you come across questionable responsible bidder criteria in bid notices? If so contact Van Collins AGC Legislative Counsel 360-352-5000.) Two years ago the Legislature passed “responsible bidder” legislation that gives public agencies the option of using supplemental criteri...
Posted on: 12/22/2009

Gregoire's Move Toward Streamlined Permitting Applauded by AGC

In what appears to be a significant win for AGC and a stride to increased government efficiency Gov. Chris Gregoire signed an executive order last week last week to transform the way multiple state agencies handle environmental permit reviews. The executive order promotes AGC’s position that agen...
Posted on: 12/08/2009

Help Us Help You: Be Involved in Legislative Activities

Much is at stake in the 2010 Legislative session. AGC priorities are workers’ comp reform infrastructure investment improvements to the sales tax permit process and prevailing wage clarifications to avoid delays in retainage releases. To achieve these goals we need your help; involvement is as ea...
Posted on: 11/09/2009

House Passes Health Care Bill; Focus Now on Senate

On Saturday night the House passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act 220 to 215 legislation strongly opposed by AGC of America. Washington State Congressional delegation voted along party lines. AGC made a particular push with Rep. Adam Smith (D) who was considered undecided. Rep Smit...
Posted on: 11/09/2009

AGC Opposes Initiative 1033

AGC’s leadership voted to oppose Initiative 1033. I-1033 would limit tax-revenue increases for state city and county governments to the rate of inflation and population growth. AGC’s officers share the concern of several business groups that the initiative would harm public and private constructi...
Posted on: 10/26/2009

The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts: The Ins and Outs of Federal Prevailing Wage Law

Many contractors are bidding federal work and facing federal prevailing wage laws for the first time. Plus the application of the Davis-Bacon to stimulus projects leaves uncertainties about the requirements of federal prevailing wage laws. AGC of America’s webinar series will provide informatio...
Posted on: 10/26/2009

AGC of America Urges Senate to Extend Home Buyer Credit, 5-Year Carryback

The Associated General Contractors of America today urged senators to extend the first-time homebuyer tax credit and the five-year carryback of net operating losses to help reverse dramatic declines in construction employment. Noting that construction employment figures show jobs losses in every...
Posted on: 10/26/2009

Workers' Comp Tax Increase and Reform: Your Help Needed

AGC strongly encourages members to attend and provide testimony at upcoming hearings regarding the proposed workers’ comp tax increase. The proposed 7.6% increase is an average for all employers. Rates vary by classification and firms’ EMR so your rate could be considerably different (and highe...
Posted on: 10/13/2009

Kilcup, Zamzow and McGarry Lobby Congress on Card Check, Infrastructure and More

AGC of Washington President Lee Kilcup (GLY Construction) and Anne Kilcup visit with AGC of Utah President Rob Moore (Big-D Construction) during the National and Chapter Leadership Conference. Card check legislation infrastructure spending and three percent withholding requirements were among ...
Posted on: 10/13/2009

AGC Pushes Reform of Washington State's Illogical Workers' Comp System

AGC of Washington will work to reform the workers’ compensation system in the 2010 Legislature. The 7.6 percent tax hike proposed by Labor and Industries – actual rates will vary widely among individual construction class rates – was one more source of motivation for seeking a major overhaul of t...
Posted on: 09/28/2009