April 1, 2021
LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Legislature to Present Budget Bills
Next Week

When legislators return from a week-long recess on April 6, they will start presenting more concrete proposals for the next two-year budget. Key committee deadlines have passed to help focus the House and Senate’s budget and policy considerations and priorities this session. Next week, AGC members can expect to learn more about the House and Senate’s budget proposals in the areas that are important to the construction industry, such as transportation. It is also common for policy, or non-budget items, to be included in larger budget bills, referred to as omnibus bills.

AGC is tracking many issues and will report their status next week after the omnibus bills are released. Legislative issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Transportation Funding and MNDOT’s Agency Budget
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Tax Conformity
  • Construction Manager/General Contractor Program extension
  • Work Zone Safety measures
  • Any Wage Theft law adjustments
  • General Employer Requirements/Mandates
  • Sales Tax Exemptions for Construction Materials
  • Duty to Defend
  • Bonding*

*Public construction (bonding) bills typically come together in late April/early May. The House Capital Investment Committee has been meeting regularly throughout session hearing about project proposals. The Senate committee with bonding jurisdiction has not been meeting with frequency yet.

The Legislature must finish its work in the regular session by May 17. The next fiscal year begins July 1, 2021. There are still outstanding questions to understand how incoming federal dollars will be directed while the legislature is negotiating the budget.
President Biden Releases Awaited Infrastructure Proposal

On March 31, President Joe Biden released the American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion, wide-ranging infrastructure proposal that seeks to invest in all modes of transportation, water, electric, broadband, public buildings, manufacturing, and much more. On the transportation front, Biden is proposing $621 billion in “additional” investment, including:

  • $115 billion for highways, roads, and bridges
  • $20 billion for roadway safety
  • $85 billion for public transit
  • $80 billion for passenger and freight rail service/ Amtrak
  • $174 billion for a wide-scoped electric vehicle incentives program, including consumer rebates and incentives and incentive and grant programs to build out a network of charging stations
  • $25 billion in airports, including increased funding for the Airport Improvement Program
  • $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries
  • $20 billion for redressing transportation inequities in communities
  • $25 billion for a dedicated fund to support “ambitious projects that have tangible benefits to the regional or national economy but are too large or complex for existing funding programs”
  • $50 billion for infrastructure resilience 

While it is unclear at this time, an “additional” investment likely means an increase in spending over current levels of funding for current surface transportation programs. The proposal did not specify whether this funding represents a one-time spending investment or an investment over multiple years. While the relation to current funding levels for federal transit programs is also unclear, the proposal notes that it would “double” current funding levels for these projects.

Substantively, Biden’s plan notes that the new investment in transportation infrastructure includes funds to improve air quality, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce congestion. The plan specifically references plans to modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets “with safety, resilience, and all users in mind,” fixing or reconstructing “the most economically significant large bridges in the country,” and repairing the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, including bridges that provide critical connections to rural and tribal communities.

On the workforce front, the American Jobs Plan calls for passage of the PRO Act. On the procurement front, the plan calls on Congress to “include a commitment to increasing American jobs through Buy America.”
LABOR & LEGAL NEWS
Contracts

AGC’s Contracts Committee updates its contracts for changes in law, practice, policy, and clarity. The new contracts now available:

  • Owner-Contractor agreement
  • Contractor-Subcontractor agreement
  • Material Purchase agreement (for material supplies)
  • Independent Trucker Owner/Operator agreement

These agreements are included in your AGC membership. Non-members can purchase licenses to some or all of the contracts. More information is available on AGC’s contracts webpage.
Labor Negotiations

Labor negotiations are continuing with Cement Masons (North Dakota and NW Minnesota Building) and Carpenters (North Dakota).  Contact Mike for more information.
Prefabrication Construction Contracts

AGC of America is hosting a webinar on April 13 on prefabrication construction cases. Learn more here.
GENERAL NEWS
Center for Workplace Mental Health: Construction Industry Survey

The construction industry suffers from some of the highest incident rates of mental health & well-being challenges in the country, including suicide rates. The events of the past year haven’t helped. Last year, AGC partner CSDZ hired Cal Beyer, one of the leading experts on construction mental health & worker well-being, to help clients & the industry overcome this crisis.

Based on Cal’s work, CSDZ is co-sponsoring a pulse survey from The Center for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. The purpose of the survey is to better understand the needs and experiences of the construction industry when it comes to mental health issues.

If you are a leader, manager, or supervisor within a construction company, your participation in this brief survey would be greatly appreciated. Multiple responses from different positions within the same construction firm are OK.
MnDOT Request for Letters of Interest

MnDOT is releasing a Request for Letters of Interest for the $200-300 million I-494 Airport to Hwy 169 Design-Build project. Download the document, or find more information here, including the project Sharepoint site.
CM/GC Request for Proposals Available
TH 10/75 – 11th Street Underpass in Moorhead, MN

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to all firms and teams of firms interested in a Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) professional/technical services contract for the TH 10/75 – 11th Street Underpass project located in Clay County, Minnesota. MnDOT invites such Proposers to submit competitive proposals for CMGC services for the Project as more specifically described in this RFP. Information here.
Constructability Review Requests

MnDOT is currently preparing plans for the SP 2514-121 (TH 61) – Red Wing Withers Harbor Bridge Replacement project, and is is asking potential contractors to assist with evaluating construction staging and risks to constructing this proposed project while minimizing impacts to adjacent properties. Click here for more info.

Due to a high calculated daily road user cost and lengthy detours required, MnDOT is seeking input on the staging and constructability of the grading operations for the
SP 0119-30 (TH 210/US 169) – Unbonded Concrete Overlay project. MnDOT is hopeful that this input will aid in the timely construction of a quality roadway and minimize the amount of negative impacts to the traveling public during construction. Click here for all the information.

Watch: Popularity of Compact Construction Equipment [Videos]

Even with all the challenges that came in 2020, compact construction equipment maintained its popularity. RDO Equipment Co. offers a full lineup: compact track loaders, skid steers, and compact excavators.
Find out more about these small machines that pack a powerful and productive punch, and watch special walkaround videos on each. Learn more

John Weber, General Manager, RDO Equipment Co. Dayton, MN

GSOC has determined it is important to make necessary one call locate changes. These change are targeted to begin April 21, 2021. Please review the information here so you have the necessary tools to start your next project.

The changes include:
  • Dynamic High-Volume Ticket Alert Notice
  • Meet Ticket Recommendations for Projects with Long Duration of Work
  • Update Ticket Process Change
  • White Lining Responses
  • Mark Entire Lot Instructions
2021-2022 AGC of Minnesota Foundation Scholarships Open

Students enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution in a construction field are encouraged to apply for the AGC of Minnesota Foundation 2021-2022 scholarships. Application and instructions can be found here.
Dan Hannan Sr. EHS Memorial Scholarship

Students pursuing an Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) career are invited to apply for the Dan Hannan Sr. Memorial EHS Scholarship. Administered by former AGC employee Dan Hannan Jr., this $1000 scholarship memorializes his father's service to his trade, and highlights the importance of health and safety in the industry.

Applications must be received by May 1, 2021.
AGC Workforce Development Scholarships

The AGC Education and Research Foundation offers Workforce Development Scholarships to students enrolled in accredited technical schools or craft training programs in any discipline of commercial construction. Students in technical or approved craft training programs will have until June 1st to apply for $1,000 scholarships (renewal for up to two years) from the AGC Education and Research Foundation.

To review the complete list of criteria click here. Students can click here to apply.  The Education and Research Foundation is committed to taking steps to ensure students have the technical skills needed to immediately enter into the commercial construction workforce. For further questions, contact Courtney Bishop.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION NEWS
The Big OFCCP "What If"
Is AAP Verification the First Step Toward Something (Much) Bigger?

Join the leaders in Affirmative Action Planning as they discuss the latest OFCCP changes.
 
Tuesday, April 6 at 12:00 pm CST, hear from Former OFCCP Director and Circa board member Craig Leen alongside DCI Consulting President David Cohen, Biddle Consulting President Patrick Nooren, and COO of HudsonMann Allen Hudson, as they make their predictions on what will or could happen with Affirmative Action Planning and what this may mean for your business. Register here.
EDUCATION & EVENTS
Leadership Blueprint 2021-2022

AGC Minnesota is pleased to announce that the 2021/22 Leadership Blueprint schedule is complete and nominations are now being accepted. Class size is limited to 21 people and applicants must be nominated by their supervisor. The Leadership Blueprint is available to AGC Minnesota members only and will begin November 4-5, 2021.

Please submit a completed nominating form and supporting documentation to Merry Beckmann by June 30, 2021. Successful candidates will be notified no later than August 2, 2021.
Joint AGC / COE Annual Meeting

A joint meeting with the Omaha District Corps of Engineers has been scheduled in Omaha, Nebraska on May 5 - 6, 2021.

Registration and information can be found here.
National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction: May 3-7

OSHA announced that it has scheduled the eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction for May 3-7, 2021. OSHA encourages construction employers and other stakeholders to join the event to promote awareness and training to address one of the industry’s most serious dangers.

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Stand-Down webpage offers a wide range of compliance resources in many languages.
Save the Dates for Golf and Sporting Clays

Mark your calendars for these AGC summer events:

  • Golf Tournament: August 6
  • Sporting Clays Fundraiser: September 15

More information on both events can be found here.
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Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

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