LATEST NEWS

AGC Urges Infrastructure & Workforce be Included in State of the Union

Address to Congress on Hold Due to Partial Shutdown
AGC CEO Steve Sandherr earlier this month urged President Trump to offer bipartisan solutions to addressing our nation’s infrastructure—including fixing the Highway Trust Fund—and workforce skills gap.  Exactly when the President delivers the State of the Union remans in flux as he is thus far honoring Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) request to postpone the speech until the partial government shutdown has ended. In the meantime business continues, as it was reported earlier this week that the president huddled with about 20 officials—including Vice President Pence, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao—to discuss a potential infrastructure plan and whether to include details of it in the State of the Union address.
AGC is encouraged by news of such a discussion and will continue to urge the president to include infrastructure and workforce in the State of the Union, while working with Congress to move forward on both issues.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892.

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Treasury Issues Final “Pass-Through Deduction” Regulations

On Jan. 18, the Treasury Department issued final regulations on the “Section 199A deduction” (often called the pass-through business deduction or the qualified business income deduction). The deduction, which provided tax relief for construction firms organized as pass-through entities (as opposed to those organized as C-Corporations, whose tax rate was reduced to 21 percent), allows those businesses that qualify to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income until the end of 2026, when the provision expires. In the final regulations, Treasury agreed to some of AGC's recommendations, and disagreed with others. Overall, AGC feels confident that construction firms will have wide use of the new deduction, allowing pass-through firms to receive significant tax relief when they file their taxes later this year. A comprehensive summary of the regulations can be found here.
For additional information, please contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org pr (202) 547-4733.

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Senate Votes to Reopen the Government Fail

On Jan. 24, two bills that would end the partial government shutdown failed to reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to advance in the Senate.  The first bill—failing on a 52-44 vote—would have funded currently shutdown federal agencies for three weeks to allow federal workers to receive their last two paychecks while Congress and the White House continued negotiations on a permanent solution. The AGC-backed second bill—failing on a 50-47 vote—would have: (1) extended work authorizations for three years for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders, which include approximately 120,000 construction workers; (2) funded approximately $7 billion in disaster-aid construction project funding; (3) provided a $10 billion increase over FY 2017 annual funding levels for federal infrastructure programs, including $5.3 billion more for highways, $1 billion more transit, and $500 million more for airports; and (4) provided $5.7 billion for border security infrastructure.
For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325.

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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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AGC Financial Issues Committee Winter Meeting Recap

On January 10-11, construction company CFO’s and other senior accounting and tax professionals attended the AGC Financial Issues Committee (FIC) Winter Meeting in Miami, FL. Committee members heard a legislative update from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), and discussed the tax reform legislation its impact on the 2019 tax filing season for the construction industry.
The group also heard a presentation from K.P. Reddy, founder of a venture capital fund focused on emerging technologies, many of which are in construction; received an update on the implementation of new accounting standards from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); and heard from AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson about the economic outlook for construction.
The FIC Summer 2019 Meeting will be held June 10-11 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC. Meeting and hotel information will be circulated in the coming months.
For more information, contact Matt Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.

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Confirmation Process for EPA Administrator Begins

On January 16, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler fielded questions from senators in a confirmation hearing at the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Federal jurisdiction of waters of the United States (WOTUS) and the renewable fuel standard remained top priorities for several Republican senators. Although Democratic senators highlighted the partial government shutdown during the hearing, they also almost uniformly questioned Mr. Wheeler on the Administration’s climate change policy.  A vote on Mr. Wheeler’s nomination will likely not happen before February.
For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org.

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House Passes Disaster-Aid Funding Bill

Includes $7 Billion for Infrastructure; May Wait Until Shutdown ends
On Jan. 16, the House passed—on a mostly party line 237-137 vote—an AGC-supported emergency funding bill to help communities rebuild from last year’s natural disasters, including Hurricanes Florence and Michael, the California wildfires, the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and earthquake in Alaska.  The bill provides about $7 billion in disaster-aid funding for federal construction accounts, including over $1 billion for Federal-aid highway emergency funding and nearly $1 billion for EPA’s State Revolving Funds for Clean Water and Drinking Water construction projects. AGC’s initial breakdown of the disaster-aid funding allocations can be found here.
House Democrats attached a “poison pill” amendment that would temporarily reopen portions of the government currently shutdown until February 8.  This strategy is a non-starter with Congressional Republicans and President Trump. Therefore, disaster funding will likely wait until an agreement on the government shutdown is reached.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892.

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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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Free Webinar Series on Alternative Pension Designs for AGC Union Contractors

Given the many shortcomings of the multiemployer pension system traditionally used in the unionized sector of the construction industry, many parties are looking for alternatives. AGC, in cooperation with labor and others, is actively advocating for legislative changes that would authorize a new retirement plan model called “composite plans.”  In the meantime, there are some alternative plan designs already available to consider. In January, AGC will offer a multi- part WebEd series designed to educate union contractors and their representatives about alternatives and help inform their decisions. The series is free to AGC members and chapter staff.
On January 15, Kelly Coffing and Ladd Preppernau of Milliman will talk about the Sustainable Income Plan, a variation on a variable annuity plan design recently adopted by several AGC chapters.
On January 24, Dan Brennan and Mark Levengood of Susanin Widman and Brennan will provide information about an AGC chapter-developed strategy involving a cash balance model.
Each session will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time and will last 60 or 90 minutes.
Click here to register.
For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or 202-547-0133.

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Trump Nominates Nicole Nason as Federal Highway Administrator

AGC Submits Recommendations
On Jan. 7, AGC of America submitted comments to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) on a proposed rule amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR). The proposed rule would adopt an additional project delivery method for construction, construction manager as constructor (CMc). Under this construction process, the design and construction manager/general contractor are engaged at the initial stage of the project.
AGC is encouraged by GSA’s efforts to incorporate best practices from the private construction sector, which allows for early industry engagement by the construction contractor and owner.  AGC supports the use of CMc by GSA as a collaborative process that has been shown—by GSA’s own numbers—to result in fewer project delays and cost overruns. AGC will continue to have an open dialogue with GSA regarding CMc and other improvements to this project delivery method.
To access AGC’s recommendations referenced above, click here.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

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