LATEST NEWS

Safety Management Training Course | February 11-13, 2019 | Omaha, NE

The AGC Safety Management Training Course (SMTC) provides attendees with three days of training on the basic skills needed to manage a company safety program in the construction industry. The SMTC program builds on Focus Four training and prepares attendees to manage key safety issues on the job site and provides techniques for delivering basic safety training to field personnel. Participants will receive intensive instruction and training that will allow them to return to their firms with readily applicable new skills to positively impact their company’s safety and health program. Visit the Safety Management Training Course page for more information.
For more information, contact Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org

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2019 AGC Winter Safety & Health Conference | January 16-18, 2019 | Miami, FL

Join more than 250 industry professionals and participate in the development of regulatory and legislative activity on both a national and local level; assist in the development and creation of new safety training programs and products; and hear the latest initiatives from OSHA and other industry experts. Full details on the Conference and links to registration and the hotel room block can be found here.
For more information, contact Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org.

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AGC Financial Issues Committee Winter Meeting | January 10-11, 2019 | Miami, FL

The AGC Financial Issues Committee (FIC) winter meeting will be held January 10-11 at the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort in Miami, Florida. Visit the meeting site to register and book your stay!
Member company CFOs, controllers, tax directors, sureties, and other senior accounting professionals who seek an opportunity to learn about and discuss financial issues facing the construction industry as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters for the association should attend. Meetings center around discussions with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), practitioners, and financial officer breakout groups on topics including internal controls, project performance reviews, and cybersecurity solutions. Attendees also have an opportunity to network and discuss matters like audit issues, executive and congressional action on federal tax policy, and best practices for industry professionals.
At the committee’s earlier meeting this summer in Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) addressed attendees and provided them with a legislative update. He also addressed the recently passed tax reform legislation and discussed how it impacts the construction industry and industry priorities. The group was also privy to a presentation on the new “Opportunity Zones,” created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from Shay Hawkins, tax counsel to U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), received an update on the implementation of new accounting standards, and heard from AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson about the economic outlook for construction.
For more information, contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.

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AGC Provides Input on DOL Proposal Expanding Access to Association Retirement Plans

AGC recently submitted official comments on a Department of Labor (DOL) proposed rulemaking intended to make it easier for smaller businesses to band together and offer retirement plans to employees. As outlined in the response, AGC appreciates the DOL’s efforts to increase retirement coverage through expanding access to Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) for small businesses (which describes the vast majority of firms in the construction industry) and recommends that the Department further reduce barriers and liabilities of participating in a MEP, such as the joint liability for the qualification failures of every other employer in the MEP (known as the “one bad apple rule”). Additionally, AGC urges the DOL to be mindful of Chapter provided retirement plans, especially those that currently exist today, and take the necessary steps to ensure that the proposed modifications to current law do not arbitrarily disrupt the quality retirement options that these arrangements consistently provide.
Specifically, the DOL proposal would allow unrelated businesses to offer Association Retirement Plans (ARPs) by relaxing the requirement that small business have a common interest to form a MEP. ARPs would now be offered by associations of employers in a city, county, state, or a multi-state metropolitan area, or in a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors, as well as their families, would also be permitted to join such plans. In addition to association sponsors, the plans could also be sponsored through Professional Employer Organizations (PEO). The idea is similar to association health plans (AHPs), which received a regulatory boost when, in June, the Department of Labor finalized a rule to make it easier for small businesses to join groups or associations to offer insured health coverage in the large group market at potentially more favorable pricing with less restrictive requirements.
For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or 202-547-0133 or Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.

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AGC Supports Proposed Changes to Health Reimbursement Arrangements

Expands Employer and Employee Insurance Options
In Dec. 2018, AGC supported a proposed regulation by the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor that would expand the usability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Specifically, the proposal would expand the use of employees’ personal health reimbursement accounts to buy individual health plans and provide them the same tax advantage as an employee choosing traditional employer sponsored coverage.
Health reimbursement accounts, which are typically offered by large employers, are used to reimburse employees for medical expenses up to a specified dollar limit. Expanding the arrangements to cover individual insurance premiums could allow employers to give workers more options and make it easier for smaller employers to offer some type of benefit.  Employers fully fund HRAs, in contrast with health flexible spending accounts, which are funded as pre-tax contributions from workers’ salaries.
For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.

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AGC Federal Government Shutdown Update

The partial government shutdown that began on December 22nd has entered its 13th day (the longest was the 21-day shutdown in 1995–96). The dispute over funding for the southern border wall remains the roadblock preventing Democrats and Republicans from funding many government agencies. While several of the major federal construction agencies are funded, you may have members who work for those agencies that are partially shutdown. In addition, because the Department of Homeland Security lacks funding and operates E-Verify, the system is unavailable (see details here).
Congress has funded about 75 percent of the government through fiscal year (FY) 2019. These funded agencies include: the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs.  For the remaining 25 percent of federal agencies, roughly 380,000 federal employees have been furloughed (placed on unpaid leave), and 420,000 agency employees have been kept on as essential (working without pay).
Whether contractors are expected to work during the partial government shutdown depends on the type of work the contractor executes with that agency. If a contractor works for a branch of a federal agency that performs essential work that remains open during the shutdown, the contractor will in turn likely be required to continue work.
AGC of America recommends that members consult AGC’s What Contractors Should Know in the Event the Government Shuts Down. Here is a list of major federal construction-related agencies and their status during the partial government shutdown:
Unaffected Construction-Related Agencies & Programs


  • The Department of Labor (including but not limited to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Wage and Hour Division, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs)

  • Construction agencies within the Department of Defense including but not limited to the Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilitates Engineers Command, and Air Force Civil Engineer Center

  • The Bureau of Reclamation

  • The Department of Energy, including the National Nuclear Security Administration

  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Major and Minor Construction Programs
Affected Construction-Related Agencies

  • Department of Transportation (minimal impact)

-The federal-aid highway program will not be immediately impacted by the shutdown. Because Congress has enacted authorization legislation through September 2020 for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), state DOT requests for reimbursement for on-going highway projects will continue to be honored. States will also be able to continue to enter into contracts with the assurance of federal reimbursement. Nevertheless, states may consider holding back on lettings because of general uncertainty the longer the shutdown lasts.
-Some of the grant programs (e.g., BUILD a.k.a. TIGER) receive funds through the General Fund—not the HTF—and could be impacted. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Capital Grants are also funded through the General Fund. As such, there could be a slow-down in reimbursements there. That stated, some FTA funds for construction come from the HTF account. While funding for these projects is still available, the personnel that process reimbursements are furloughed and payments could be slowed.
-DOT Operations During a Lapse in Annual Appropriations

  • Department of Interior (including but not limited to the National Parks Service, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Services

-DOI Contingency Plans for Operations in the Absence of Appropriations

  • General Services Administration

-GSA Operations in the Absence of Appropriations

  • Department of Agriculture (including but not limited to the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Rural Utilities Service)

-NRCS Contingency Plans

  • Department of Homeland Security (including but not limited to the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Control, and E-Verify through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)

-Lapse in Funding for DHS

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development

-HUD Contingency Plan

  • Department of State (including but not limited to the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations)

-State Guidance on Operations During a Lapse in Appropriations

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

-EPA Plan During a Lapse in Appropriations

  • Small Business Administration
SBA Plan for Operating in the Event of a Lapse of Appropriations
Additional Resources For more information, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5406.

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Your CLWIR Subscription

Please Complete our Brief Survey
Thank you for subscribing to the Associated General Contractors’ Construction Legislative Week in Review (CLWIR) Newsletter. The newsletter is designed to provide AGC members with weekly information on federal legislation and regulatory efforts impacting the commercial construction industry. If you haven’t already, please complete this brief survey to continue your subscription and provide AGC with feedback on how we may better serve our readers.
For more information, contact Jenni Traver at jennifer.traver@agc.org or (703) 837-5435.

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AGC In-House Environmental Managers Meeting | February 20, 2019 | Arlington, VA

Are you an environmental professional working at a general construction firm? Join your peers at the next AGC In-House Environmental Managers (IHEM) meeting on Feb. 20, 2019, at AGC’s Headquarters in Arlington, VA. The IHEM meeting creates a forum for greater peer-to-peer learning and interaction by facilitating a series of moderated roundtable discussions. You choose the topics in advance and then spend the day sharing first-hand experiences and discussing solutions to the challenges on your to-do lists. Visit the meeting site to register today.
Registration is open to professionals working in-house on environmental issues at general construction firms. To ensure active discussion/participation, space for this meeting is limited.  The registration fee of $199 covers breakfast items, lunch, and a reception. AGC has booked a room block with breakfast included at the Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza for $189 per night (plus tax and fees). Click here to book your hotel room online.
For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5401.

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Federal Contractors Conference | June 10-12, 2019 | Washington, D.C.

Early registration ends February 19
Register today for the 2019 AGC Federal Contractors Conference taking place June 10-12, 2019 in Washington, D.C. This discount offer ends February 19th and space is limited. The Federal Contractors Conference discusses the latest projects, policies and contracting issues facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.
In addition to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees will hear from legal experts about the latest federal regulations that impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue with federal agencies after the conference. Leading federal construction attorneys will address executive orders, Small Business Administration and Federal Acquisition Regulation rules, and case law trends your company needs to know to work in the federal market. And, when the conference concludes, AGC member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

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AGC In-House Environmental Managers Meeting | February 20, 2019 | Arlington, VA

Are you an environmental professional working at a general construction firm? Join your peers at the next AGC In-House Environmental Managers (IHEM) meeting on Feb. 20, 2019, at AGC’s Headquarters in Arlington, VA. The IHEM meeting creates a forum for greater peer-to-peer learning and interaction by facilitating a series of moderated roundtable discussions. You choose the topics in advance and then spend the day sharing first-hand experiences and discussing solutions to the challenges on your to-do lists. Visit the meeting site to register today.
Registration is open to professionals working in-house on environmental issues at general construction firms. To ensure active discussion/participation, space for this meeting is limited.  The registration fee of $199 covers breakfast items, lunch, and a reception. AGC has booked a room block with breakfast included at the Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza for $189 per night (plus tax and fees). Click here to book your hotel room online.
For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5401.

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