"You can lead a man to Congress but you can't make him think."
- Milton Berle, American comedian

ABC In The News

For Immediate Release...

March 22, 2017

Senate Passes ABC-supported Resolution to Block Overreaching OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today applauded the U.S. Senate for joining the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a resolution ( H.J. Res. 83) that will block implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Volks” final rule (also known as Clarification of an Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness) through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

“Associated Builders and Contractors members are committed to maintaining safe jobsites, however, the ‘Volks’ rule promulgated by OSHA does nothing to improve jobsite safety; instead it places an enormous paperwork burden on contractors,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “Congress’s action does not remove an employer’s obligation to document injuries and illnesses, but blocks OSHA’s overreaching rule, which contradicts the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the U.S. Court of Appeals decisions. We applaud the Senate for joining the House in passing this resolution and urge President Trump to take immediate action to sign it into law and relieve contractors from this burdensome regulation.”

The House passed the measure to block the rule, which extends the time period in which an employer may be cited by OSHA for recordkeeping violations from six months to up to five years, in a bipartisan vote on March 1. The rulemaking reverses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision in AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Sec’y of Labor, which stated that OSHA must stick to a six-month statute of limitations when citing a company for failure to record an injury or illness and cannot treat such an event as a continuing violation throughout the five-year recordkeeping period. The final rule went into effect Jan. 18, 2017.

Under the CRA, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prohibit a federal agency from implementing a rule without congressional authorization with a majority vote in both houses. If President Trump signs the CRA resolution into law, it will overturn the Volks rule and prevent future administrations from promulgating a similar rule—essentially permanently eliminating the rule.

ABC sent letters to members of the House and Senate urging them to support the resolution, which was a key vote for ABC’s 115th Congressional Scorecard.

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February 2, 2017

ABC Working with State of Florida on Your Skilled Worker Needs

Coconut Creek, FL – Legislative Recommendations were released this week from the Florida Construction Workforce Task Force. The Task Force was established during the 2016 Legislative Session to analyze how Florida responds to workforce development needs. “The Rinker School is honored to facilitate the gathering of such leaders in the Florida construction workforce arena,” said Jim Sullivan of the University of Florida. “The members of this board take in earnest the need to attract, retain, and train the workforce so crucial to the economic strength of this state.”

Residential and Commercial Construction in Florida are suffering from the largest skilled worker shortage in recent history. “The work of this Task Force is critical to helping Florida determine how we can attract the next generation of workers to the industry. Construction is ready to hire, train, and employ, but the workforce isn’t returning at rates necessary to respond to the current demand,” said Peter Dyga, Chairman of the Construction Workforce Task Force and President of Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter.

The Task Force was established with the help of Senator Travis Hutson and Representative Dane Eagle. Task Force members include representatives from Residential and Commercial Construction Associations, individual trade groups, organized labor, and building officials.

“It was an honor to serve on the Task Force as we addressed the critical employment needs in our construction industry. I look forward to taking these recommendations back to the Florida Senate and will work diligently to implement them in Tallahassee.”

The recommendations for the Task Force can be found via the following link:
http://www.cce.ufl.edu/projects/current-projects/construction-workforce-taskforce/reports/


For more information contact: Richard Watson, Chief Counsel - ABC of Florida at 850-591-4770 or Carol Bowen, Deputy Chief Lobbyist - ABC of Florida at 954-465-6811

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October 25, 2016

Associated Builders and Contractors Applauds Court's Injunction Against 'Blacklisting' Rule

Washington, D.C. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today applauded a preliminary injunction against the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, commonly referred to as “blacklisting,” issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas late Monday night. The preliminary injunction prevents the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council from implementing the rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 25.

ABC, its ABC Southeast Texas Chapter and the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) filed its legal challenge on Oct. 7 and filed a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on Oct. 13.

“Associated Builders and Contractors is pleased the court ruled that the Obama administration cannot order private businesses to publicly disclose mere accusations of labor law violations that have not been fully adjudicated,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor & State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “By issuing this decision, the court has maintained the First Amendment rights of government contractors and protected them and taxpayers from the poorly crafted blacklisting rule.

“ABC supports policies that promote fairness and competition in government contracting while holding bad actors accountable, but has long maintained that this rule would violate the constitutional rights of contractors and drive up costs to taxpayers,” said Brubeck. “Not only does the court’s ruling protect the constitutional rights of government contractors and their employees from the latest attack by the Obama administration, but it will prevent a disruption to the federal government’s procurement process for critical goods and services that benefit the public.

“The ruling also pushes back against the Obama administration’s executive overreach and unfortunate attempt to circumvent the will of Congress, which has carefully crafted laws to deal with companies that violate contracting rules,” said Brubeck. “The administration should spend time improving its existing suspension and debarment process instead of creating a new regulatory regime that will increase costs, kill jobs, harm responsible small and large businesses and stifle innovators from entering the federal contracting marketplace.”

Nationally, ABC members performed more than 60 percent of all federal government construction contracts exceeding $25 million from FY2009 to FY2015.

A national survey of ABC members conducted in September found that:

• 51 percent of respondents said the rule’s onerous requirements, including reporting alleged violations that firms are still contesting, will force them to abandon the pursuit of federal contracts

• 91 percent of contractors said the rule will impose a significant or extreme burden for their firm through new requirements to compile information needed to comply with final rule

• 93 percent said the final rule will make the contracting process less efficient

• 98 percent said the final rule will make the contracting process more expensive.

ABC has consistently opposed the blacklisting proposal since the White House issued the Fair Pay and Workplaces Executive Order 13673 in July, 2014, and has:

Supported legislative efforts to protect contractors from the policy

Submitted comments in August 2015 urging the withdrawal of the FAR and DOL proposals along with more than 300 ABC member companies

• Joined 19 other business trade groups in sending a Nov. 6, 2014, letter to DOL Secretary Thomas Perez and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz, requesting the president withdraw the executive order

• Spoken out against the executive order in an Oct. 13, 2014, White House listening session hosted by Secretary Perez, Director Muñoz and Deputy Director at the Office of Management and Budget Beth Cobert.

For more information, visit abc.org/blacklisting.

ABC was represented by Maury Baskin of the law firm Littler Mendelson, PC, ABC's general counsel.

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September 1, 2016

Florida Construction Jobs Continue Strong

Florida Experiences 6.13% Job Growth Since July 2015!

Coconut Creek Florida Recent government figures released for July employment show that construction employment in Florida grew by 26,400 jobs or 6.13% since July of 2015, thanks in part to a continued robust demand for apartments, condos, airports, attractions and hotels according to the Associated Builders and Contractors.

19,700 of those jobs in July are with specialty trades contractors, including electrical, plumbing, masonry and carpentry. Total employment in the Florida construction industry now stands at 459,300, according to an analysis by the construction trade group of the June jobs report, released this month by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Southeast Florida, Central Florida and Jacksonville are experiencing double digit job growth, while the Tampa market is experiencing growth in the single digits.

The fastest growing area in the state for July was Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL, MSA with nearly a 17% growth, with a total of 71,600 jobs, up from 61,200 in July 2015. Second was. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division at an annual rate of 13.61% and a total of 45,900 jobs, up from 40,400 in June of 2015. Jacksonville, FL, was third with a growth of 11.24%, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL (8.98%) was in fourth place.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach is by far the largest construction MSA in Florida with over 122,600 jobs. That market, is over 70% larger than Orlando, which continues to be the second largest construction market in the state.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website FloridaJobs.org, these Specialty Trades pay between $15 and $25 for experienced journeymen. Frontline foremen and superintendents earn $40,000 to $60,000 per year and more. Most of these jobs do not require a four year college degree.

Founded on the merit shop philosophy in 1950, National ABC has chartered five chapters throughout Florida providing services to its commercial construction industry members to develop people, to win work and to deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.

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July 8, 2016

ABC Challenges Anti-retaliation Provisions of OSHA’s Electronic Reporting Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. WASHINGTON, D.C., Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), TEXO and a coalition of stakeholders today filed suit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, commonly referred to as the “electronic injury reporting and anti-retaliation final rule.” The suit immediately challenges the anti-retaliation provisions of the final rule that will limit post-accident drug testing and safety programs that contribute to construction jobsite safety. ABC is seeking to prevent these provisions from taking effect on Aug. 10.

“Associated Builders and Contractors is committed to working with our members and OSHA to create safe construction work environments,” said ABC Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “But it’s inconceivable to those of us who study how to improve safety performance that OSHA would want to limit drug and alcohol testing as part of the investigation after an accident or near-miss incident. Root cause analysis is key to developing procedures that prevent future incidents, so we need to know whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.”

“We also object to OSHA’s attempt to restrict or eliminate programs that recognize workers for helping to establish a high-performance safety culture. This part of the rule could well prevent employers from recognizing safety accomplishments,” said Sizemore.

ABC has been an active participant throughout the electronic injury reporting and anti-retaliation rulemaking process. ABC has:

• participated in a January 2014 public meeting held by OSHA to explain its concerns with the proposed rule as a member of the Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS);

submitted comments in March 2014 along with more than 900 member companies asking OSHA to withdraw the rule as proposed; and

submitted comments in October 2014 along with other members of the CWS.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Additional plaintiffs include American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Atlantic Precast Concrete Inc., Great American Insurance Company, National Association of Manufacturers, Owen Steel Company and Oxford Property Management LLC.

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Founded in 1950, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.

June 23, 2016

Associated Builders and Contractors Endorses Senator Marco Rubio

WASHINGTON, D.C. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Florida today announced that it has endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

“Sen. Rubio has shown the commitment to free enterprise that Associated Builders and Contractors members know will best grow our economy, and we are thrilled to support him,” said Ron Cox, president of Cox Fire Protection and chairman of ABC of Florida. “The commercial and industrial construction industries are largely reliant on the health of the larger economy, and greater economic growth means more work and more construction jobs in Florida.

“Unfortunately, our members face a long list of challenges to growth including onerous and poorly crafted regulatory policies, the highest effective tax rate of any industry and a lack of appropriately skilled labor,” said Cox. “While far too many of these obstacles emulate from Washington, Sen. Rubio has shown the courage needed to stand up to the bloated bureaucracy that continues to hinder economic growth.”

The association’s endorsement came during the group’s legislative conference in Washington, D.C. Sen. Rubio reiterated his commitment to free enterprise in a TeleForum with thousands of ABC members in Nov. 2015 during his presidential campaign.

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Founded in 1950, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.



May 11, 2016

New OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates Series of Problems

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 11 – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today released the following statement in reaction to the release of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) final rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, commonly referred to as “electronic recordkeeping.”

“OSHA created a rule that does nothing to achieve its stated goal of reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and ignored the concerns from industry that this rulemaking will have unintended negative consequences,” said ABC Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “Associated Builders and Contractors is committed to working with our members and OSHA to create safe construction work environments. However, in departing from its current ’no fault’ recordkeeping system, OSHA has empowered itself to disseminate records and data to the public that fails to show the complete narrative of a company’s safety record or its efforts to promote a safe work environment.

“Additionally, OSHA has exceeded its authority by forcing companies to reveal confidential business details to the public,” said Sizemore. “In the past, OSHA has recognized sensitive information, such as the number of hours worked by employees on a project, as ‘privileged and confidential.’ However, in departing from this opinion OSHA will give competitors undue access to business processes that should remain confidential.”

ABC has been an active participant throughout the electronic recordkeeping rulemaking process. ABC has:

• Participated in a Jan. 2014 public meeting held by OSHA to explain its concerns with the proposed rule as a member of the Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS)

Submitted comments in March 2014 along with more than 900 member companies asking OSHA to withdraw the rule as proposed

Submitted comments in Oct. 2014 along with other members of CWS

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Founded in 1950, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.

May 2, 2016

ABC Florida East Coast Chapter Hires Director of Political Affairs

Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter is pleased to announce the hire of Matt McBride as their Director of Political Affairs. McBride joins the chapter staff with a diverse background of working for several political campaigns and nonprofits, most recently on the staff of State Representative Mike La Rosa.

“Having grown up with a father working in construction management, I can’t think of an industry I’d be prouder to work with,” said Matt McBride, who originally hails from Harrisonburg, VA. “I’m ecstatic to join the great team here and I can’t wait to tackle the critical issues facing our members.”

ABC’s President and CEO, Peter Dyga, says “Hiring Matt to enhance our already industry leading political and fundraising activities helps fulfill the organization’s mission and a long-term goal. ABC is the industry’s leading trade association because we invest the resources that make a positive impact on our members behalf.”

McBride, a 2013 graduate of Coastal Carolina University, caught the “political bug” after working on a County Chairman campaign his senior year, and has since worked on local and state legislative campaigns in multiple states across the South. His experience also includes stints with several nonprofits, where he specialized in grassroots organization and political research.

Outside of politics, McBride enjoys spending time with his fiancé, Jamie, and their two dogs.

matt-mcbride
Matt McBride
Director of Politcal Affairs
Associated Builders and Contractors
Florida East Coast Chapter
mmcbride@abceastflorida.com

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March 24, 2016

Construction Industry Voices Concerns with Silica Rule

Washington, March 24—The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) has concerns with the final rule on respirable crystalline silica released today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It appears, upon initial review, that the 1,772-page final rule contains some of the same problematic provisions that the CISC previously identified and shared with the agency. CISC has been a highly engaged participant in the rulemaking process since OSHA put forth the proposed rule two and a half years ago.
“The construction industry submitted hundreds of pages of comments in response to OSHA’s proposal and as we review the final rule we will see whether OSHA has taken these comments into account in developing a standard that is workable,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “ABC will remain an engaged stakeholder with OSHA in developing viable standards that will promote healthy and safe construction job sites.”

“NAHB has long advocated the importance of the rule being both technologically and economically feasible,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. “While we’re still reviewing the final rule, we’re concerned that it may not adequately address these issues and take into consideration real-world application.”

“Instead of crafting a new standard that the construction industry can comply with, administration officials have instead opted to set a new standard that is well beyond the capabilities of current air filtration and dust removal technologies,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America. “Our concern is that this new rule will do little to improve workplace health and safety, which is why we will continue our review of the new measure, consult with our members and decide on a future course of action that will best serve the health and safety of millions of construction workers across the country.”

“At first glance, we have observed that a number of provisions that concerned us in the proposed rule have been left in the final rule. This makes us continue to question the final rule’s technological and economic feasibility for the construction industry. In addition, OSHA has added several new provisions not in the proposed rule that we have not had a chance to thoroughly review and consider the impacts. Once we complete our review we will be able to be more specific about what was released today,” said Jeff Buczkiewicz, president of the Mason Contractors Association of America.

The members of the CISC include: The American Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Society of Concrete Contractors, American Subcontractors Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Building Stone Institute, Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association, Construction & Demolition Recycling Association, Distribution Contractors Association, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Leading Builders of America, Marble Institute of America, Mason Contractors Association of America, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of the Remodeling Industry, National Demolition Association, National Electrical Contractors Association, National Roofing Contractors Association, National Utility Contractors Association, Natural Stone Council, The Association of Union Constructors and the Tile Roofing Institute.

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ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SAFETY COALITION: The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) is made up of 25 trade associations, representing all sectors of the construction industry, including commercial building, heavy industrial production, home building, road repair, specialty trade contractors and material suppliers. Virtually every construction trade, task, and activity is represented by the member associations of the CISC. Workplace safety and health is a priority for all members of the coalition, and each is committed to helping create safer construction jobsites for workers.


March 23, 2016

ABC Slams Persuader Rule: DOL Proposal Designed to Silence Employers

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S FINAL PERSUADER RULE

Status: On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule that will drastically redefine “persuader” activity under Section 203 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). The final rule is scheduled to take effect on April 25, 2016 and applies to arrangements, agreements, and payments made on or after July 1, 2016. The final persuader rule is likely to be challenged in Congress and the courts.

Current Persuader Rule: Currently, persuader activity is defined as services provided by third parties (known as persuaders) hired by employers to communicate directly to employees about their rights to organize. Employers and so-called “persuaders” are obligated to file public financial reports with the DOL. However, under Section 203(c) of the LMRDA, also known as the “advice” exemption, attorneys, trade associations and other third-party advisors are exempt from the reporting requirements when they offer advice on union organizing campaigns or collective bargaining to an employer without engaging in direct contact with its employees. The employers that utilize these protected services are also exempt.

Changes Under the Final Rule: The final rule will significantly broaden the reporting requirements for employers, attorneys, trade associations and other third-party advisors by redefining what is meant by labor relations “advice.” DOL has made some changes from its proposed rule. ABC National staff and ABC’s general counsel, Maury Baskin are now studying the final rule’s 446 pages and additional details will follow for ABC members.

Next Steps: ABC National is developing a compliance plan for ABC members that will be forthcoming and Maury Baskin will be holding a webinar on the final persuader rule in April. ABC National will continue to keep ABC members informed of any developments.

Additional Resources:
ABC’s Press Release
DOL’s Final Persuader Rule
DOL Resource Page
DOL’s Overview and Summary
ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Persuader Materials

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March 8, 2016

SOUTHTECH ACADEMY AND ASSOCIATED BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS ANNOUNCE INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP

Boynton Beach – Two of Palm Beach County’s most successful and established education providers announce a partnership that will provide unparalleled education and career opportunities to county residence.

SouthTech Academy, ranked by U.S. News and World report as one of the nation’s best high schools in 2015, and Associated Builders and Contractors, Florida’s largest contractor organizations and provider of apprenticeship education, announce a pioneering program to combine quality education with unequalled career placement services.

“Preparing students for all aspects of life is central to providing appropriate public education. Our core mission at SouthTech is to prepare students for work, higher education, and productive citizenship.”, said James Kidd, President and CEO. “We’re going to put the area’s largest network of contractors, ABC, to work for our students, and vice versa”.

Construction is one of the economy’s largest sectors with long-term demand for high-paying careers. Through this partnership SouthTech will provide space at their Boynton Beach campus for Associated Builders and Contractors to offer job placement services and advanced apprenticeship training. This program will provide life-changing education and career opportunities to Palm Beach County residents at a level previously unseen.

“Our mission at ABC to help our members meet their workforce needs while providing advanced apprenticeship training that makes a person the most valuable member of the construction team, is a perfect complement to SouthTech’s mission”, said Peter Dyga, CEO of ABC.

Individuals interested in training or job placement assistance in the construction industry may contact SouthTech Academy or Associated Builders and Contractors.

www.SouthTechAcademy.org

www.WeTrain.org

ABC is Florida’s largest construction association and leading provider of education and training, investing over $1.3 Million annually in South Florida alone.

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January 5, 2016

CARLY FIORINA WILL ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM ABC MEMBERS IN TELEFORUM THIS THURSDAY
Presidential Candidate is the Fifth to Accept Invitation from Coalition of Business Groups


Washington, DC – Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina will address and answer questions from members of a coalition of major nationwide business groups in a TeleForum this Thursday, Jan. 7. Fiorina is the fifth leading presidential candidate to accept the invitation to speak to members of Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, Business-Industry Political Action Committee, National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business, and National Retail Federation. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have also addressed members of the coalition.

Fiorina will directly address questions in a call that will start at 2:15 p.m. EST and will last approximately 45 minutes. Members of the media are invited to listen in on the session and report on the questions and answers. To participate, press should send an e-mail to Andrew.wimer@nfib.org with their media outlet clearly identified. A link to listen live online will be sent shortly before the call starts. Those who signed up for the previous calls will automatically be on the list of invited media.

The 2016 election cycle marks the third consecutive presidential campaign cycle that candidates have addressed and responded to questions from ABC members.

The other candidates still invited to speak with the groups are (in alphabetical order):
• Dr. Ben Carson
• Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
• Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
• Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
• Businessman Donald Trump

The candidates qualified for the initial invitation by maintaining at least 4 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls during the period starting from the first GOP debate and ending on Labor Day. Should additional candidates average at least 4 percent for a 30-day time period prior to the start of voting, an invitation to participate will be sent to them.

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December 2, 2015

FLORIDA RANKS 8TH FOR CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS CLIMATE ACCORDING TO ABC’S MERIT SHOP SCORECARD

Tallahassee, FL –
Florida is an excellent place for contractors to do business according to a scorecard launched today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). “ Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard ” reviews and grades state-specific information significant to the success of the commercial and industrial construction industry. The scorecard website, meritshopscorecard.org, identifies states, such as Florida, that have created an environment where merit-shop contractors are well positioned to succeed and states where strategic improvements need to be made in order to achieve a merit-shop friendly business climate.

The Merit Shop Scorecard grades states on their policies on project labor agreement (PLA) and prevailing wage mandates, right-to-work status as well as their construction job growth rate, commitment to developing a well-trained workforce, level of flexibility in career and technical education curricula and use of public-private partnerships (P3s).

“ABC applauds Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their commitment to free enterprise and helping to craft an environment where contractors can thrive,” said Rick Watson, Chief Counsel for the ABC of Florida. “By restricting anti-competitive prevailing wage mandates and supporting right-to-work and workforce development programs, Florida policymakers have helped reduce the cost of public construction to taxpayers and made it easier for contractors to expand their operations and create more jobs in Florida.

“Over the past few years, ABC of Florida has been pleased to work with policymakers to pass Public Private Partnership legislation, to identify ways to address our skilled worker shortage, and to fight anti-competitive measures placed on the industry that do nothing other than decrease the number of companies who are able to compete on public works projects.

We look forward to continuing our efforts in Tallahassee and statewide to push initiatives in support of the Merit Shop Philosophy.”

The merit shop philosophy is the belief that people and companies succeed based on free enterprise principles within the free market system, which is characterized by open and fair competition and diverse participants. Those who adhere to the philosophy believe employees and employers have the right to determine wages and working conditions through either individual or collective bargaining, as they choose, within the boundaries of the law. They oppose violence, coercion, intimidation and the denial of the rights of employees and employers. Furthermore, they believe it is incumbent upon all branches of government to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and that government should award contracts based solely on merit to the lowest responsible bidder, regardless of labor affiliation.

High-performing states such as Florida received top marks for their right-to-work policies and restriction of prevailing wage mandates. Conversely, low performing states such as New Mexico, Alaska and New York received the poorest overall rankings because they earned a D or F grade for their policies on PLAs, prevailing wage and right-to-work legislation.

The Merit Shop Scorecard was developed with input from ABC chapters and industry stakeholders across the country. States were evaluated based on their policies and records on seven key issues:

• Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)
• Prevailing Wage
• Right to Work
• Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
• Workforce Development
• Career and Technical Education
• Job Growth Rate

Criteria and definitions are available on meritshopscorecard.org . The scorecard will be updated with exclusive state construction unemployment rate estimates from economist Bernard Markstein, Ph.D.

Click here for The ABC Building America Merit Shop Scorecard website

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November 5, 2015

Dear Members of the Construction Community,

Please be aware that City of Miami will be enforcing a ban on construction work on Veteran’s Day, Wednesday November 11th. In an effort to serve our members ABC Regional Vice President Carlos Carrillo attended a City of Miami Brickell MOT meeting. A City of Miami Police representative stated that officers would be conducting a sweep of all projects in City of Miami to enforce this policy. Those projects found to be in violation will be barred from receiving a Noise Waiver or Special Use Permit for 90 days. The officer stated that there is to be no one on the project, including project management staff or any staff working out of a trailer.

Associated Builders & Contractors is asking for your input regarding the issuance of Noise Waivers, Special Use Permits, and the MOT Process in the City of Miami. We are working to identify ways to address the problems with this program and improve it moving forward. Your comments, questions, or concerns will be kept completely confidential. Please contact Carlos Carrillo at ccarrillo@abceastflorida.com or at 305-494-0617.

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August 27, 2015

Miami, FL - The Miami New Construction Show (MNCS), in cooperation with Associated Builders & Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter (ABCFEC) would like to invite you to join us at our MNCS 2015 real estate showcase and exhibition October 22-25 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The Show will feature more than 100 of the Best Development Projects from South Florida and 150 Real Estate and Construction-related Service Providers – Architects, Interior Designers, Property Managers, Tax Advisors, General Contractors, Inspectors, Title Companies, Immigration Lawyers, and various Home Decorating and Construction Specialists – plus 80 Real Estate Brokerages.

A cornerstone of the MNCS 2015 is its focus on market awareness. Panel meetings, keynote speakers and workshops covering diverse real estate topics and market trends will be conducted on the main stage and in 15 conference rooms during the four-day event. These informational sessions are intended to provide the audience with useful knowledge from industry leaders relevant to investing, developing and purchasing real estate.

As a valued partner of the MNCS 2015, we anticipate that ABCFEC’s multifaceted presence in Florida’s building and construction industry–and its strong relationships with developers–will contribute to making our second annual show a critical and financial success.

Headquartered in Miami, ABCFEC provides leadership and is the recognized voice of the construction industry in South Florida, promoting ethics and integrity while developing and improving education and training at all levels of the construction industry.

ABCFEC is renown for its community outreach work with the ABC Cares Foundation, ABC Disaster Relief, and its FIU Student Chapter. It members can attend nearly 50 business development events in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Brevard Counties.

The MNCS is proud to note that Alex Barthet, a current member of the MNCS Speakers Committee served in in 2013 as ABCFEC’s Chairman, Miami-Dade Council.

A Tallahassee heavyweight, its parent company, Associated Builders & Contractors Inc. is a nationally recognized trade association going to bat for policies supporting new construction projects across the state of Florida.

We are cordially reaching out at this time to ABCFEC’s extensive list of contacts to visit, sponsor or exhibit with us. Your affiliation with ABCFEC and your expert industry knowledge makes you an ideal MNCS participant.

For more information on partnership opportunities with us, or to visit our online ticket window, please visit contact the Miami New Construction Show at 1.305.209.9880 or visit our website at www.miaminewconstructionshow.com

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the Show.

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For more information contact Carol Bowen at cbowen@abceastflorida.com.

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