March 2014

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Legislative Update from MD AGGMCN Podcast 130x130 Brown

In this podcast MCN host Rob Bertazon interviews Mr. Champe McCulloch as a part of Maryland AGC’s Spotlight Sponsorship to discuss the progress of the 2014 Maryland General Assembly as well as a new program initiative between MD AGC and AIA Baltimore. Champe is the President of Maryland AGC.

Bills with Most Significant Impact to Contractors:

  • Rain Tax
    • Bills to repeal have been defeated
    • No significant changes to existing laws are expected
  • Work Zone Speed Cameras
    • Efforts were initiated to eliminate/restrict work zone camera enforcement
    • Between 2003 and 2013 there were 99 work zone fatalities – 93 were to the motoring public
  • Taxes
    • A variety of bills to reduce corporate tax levels have been introduced
    • Most of these would have little to no effect upon construction companies due to company structure
    • Senator Ed Kasemeyer (Chair of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee) has introduced a tax reduction bill that would have significantly more impact upon a larger number of construction companies
    • Mr. McCulloch is hopeful that if not this year, in future years this bill will be supported
    • A reduction of estate tax is supported by both the head of the Maryland Senate and House and is there is an expectation that some relief will be seen out of this session
  • SB 774 & HB 951 both seek to establish a law that makes it a prerequisite that both primes and subs bidding on public work must meet a satisfactory safety rating as established by MOSH/DLLR
    • In fact, most contractors already have to meet such prerequisites as imposed by the prime contractors
    • Federal/Army Core of Engineers already have such requirements
    • A panel of industry participants would be assembled to set the requirements.
  • Bills to change the application of prevailing wage have been introduced
    • There have been little to no changes in the law for many years
    • Mostly the proposals seek to alter the amount of funds the state needs to contribute to a project before the project is deemed to pay prevailing wages
  • Worker Protection Laws
    • Bills to require unpaid parental leave and earned/paid sick leave have been introduced
    • All sick leave bills contain language that earns sick leave benefits at a rate of 1 hour earned for every 30 hours worked – up to a limit of 56 hours per year
    • Sick leave legislation seems to have particular support from the House, whether it can find similar support in the Senate remains to be seen

MD AGC and AIA Baltimore are holding are holding a BIM Users group meeting on April 22nd at the Engineers Club. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and feature a presentation from IMAGINiT Technologies. The purpose is to see if there is a desire to establish a users group to exchange BIM best practices and further implementation and deployment between designers and construction firms.

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