May 15, 2020

LEGISLATIVE NEWS
2020 Legislative Session Ends on Monday, Watch for Weekend Developments  

On Wednesday, Governor Walz extended the peacetime state of emergency through June 12th. Because the legislature must adjourn on Monday, May 18th, he'll have to call them back into session in a month to extend it. The situation sets up a special session in June, which may push out a decision on an infrastructure bill.
 
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka commented on Friday that he believed legislative leaders were close to a deal. The Governor released his bonding bill in January, while the Democrat-controlled House introduced theirs earlier this week. Both bills totaled roughly $2.5 billion. Although the Republican-led Senate has not introduced a bill as of Friday afternoon, leadership has indicated it could be around the $1 billion mark. Because a bonding bill must have 3/5 majority support, all four legislative leaders representing both political parties negotiate any final agreement. AGC of MN government affairs staff will monitor activity over the weekend and provide a full recap next week.
NEW Paycheck Protection Program Guidance from Treasury Department

The Treasury Department's new PPP directive gives many construction contractors additional guidance that AGC of America and AGC of MN have been seeking. It provides some clarity that many need to decide how to proceed with their loans. Most important, the Department has opted to provide a safe harbor provision for firms that self-certified their need for loans that totaled less than $2 million. 

Over the last month, we have fielded dozens of calls and emails regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the need for additional guidance. The Treasury Department's new Paycheck Protection Program guidance offers the kind of information we have been seeking to provide many employers with additional clarity on how to proceed with their loans.  Importantly, the Department has opted to provide a safe harbor provision for firms that self-certified their need for loans that totaled less than $2 million. In addition, the new guidance provides a mechanism to allow firms that received loans of $2 million or more and are later found to have not met the Department's need-standard to repay, seemingly without penalty, those loans. Read More

Click HERE for the full list of questions and answers from the Treasury Department on PPP loans.
LABOR & LEGAL NEWS
Wage Allocations Clarified
 
AGC has created a master spreadsheet showing with new clarity how to allocate fringes, what is taxable/non-taxable, and what is reported on the prevailing wage survey for all trades.  Members can access the spreadsheet in Excel here so that you can tweak, hide columns and rows, view formulas, etc., to best fit your practice.  The information also is available to nonmembers in PDF format on our website under Wage Allocations, found here.  Our hope is that this format will answer frequently asked questions and become easier to work with.  As always, please email Mike if you have any questions or feedback to help us continue to improve. 
Webinar: 2020 Labor Negotiations Postmortem - Outcomes & Lessons
 
Members, watch your inbox for an invite to a members-only online meeting (27 May 2020, 9:00 a.m.)  on 2020 labor negotiations, including explanations of what some things mean or how we got there, wage and other contract cost settlements, challenges and lessons, and things to watch. 
Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability in a Business Acquisition
 
Whether an acquisition transaction involves the purchase of assets or stock, the buyer should be aware of multi-employer pension withdrawal liability. The concept of withdrawal liability is that where a pension plan is not fully funded, each employer is responsible for a share of the unfunded liability, which must be paid in the event the employer withdraws from the plan.  Learn more

Written by 
Phyllis Karasov & Mary Komornicka, Larkin Hoffman
MEMBERSHIP NEWS
Congratulations to AGC Members Celebrating Milestone Membership Years

The following AGC members are celebrating significant milestone years of continuous membership in 2020.  Thank you for your support of the industry!

50 Years:
C.W. Houle, Inc.
Landwehr Construction, Inc.
Lunda Construction Company
Neenah Foundry Co.
Ryan Companies US, Inc.

55 Years:
Cemstone Companies
Hancock Concrete Products, LLC
Robert R. Schroeder Construction, Inc.

60 Years: 
Opus Design Build, LLC

65 Years: 
Forterra Pipe & Precast
Mortenson

70 Years: 
Standard Iron

75 Years:
Park Construction Co.
Twin City Tile & Marble Co.

80 Years:
George F. Cook Construction Company

85 Years:
Carl Bolander & Sons Co.
GENERAL NEWS
EXTENDED ONE WEEK: May 22 is the deadline for AGC of Minnesota 2020/21 academic scholarship application
 
AGC has extended the application period for our 2020/21 scholarships. Any student currently enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution in a commercial construction discipline is encouraged to apply for a scholarship. Completed applications and supporting documents are to be submitted to Merry Beckmann no later than Friday, May 22, 2020. Scholarship recipients will be notified by June 19, 2020.
Full-Summer Overweight Permits Start Next Week in Central, North-Central, North Frost Zones

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will start issuing full-summer overweight permits in the central frost zone Monday, May 18, and in the north-central and north frost zones Thursday, May 21, 2020.
 
Full-summer overweight permits are already available in the metro, southeast and south frost zones.
 
The frost zones and restricted routes can be found on the MnDOT load limits map.
May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month and a great opportunity to highlight the importance of taking care of our emotional and mental wellbeing to our employees. Mental health is a huge component of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention's (CIASP's) suicide prevention efforts and one really cannot be addressed without the other. Because of this, we feel that May is the perfect time to take the pledge to STAND up for Suicide Prevention.

Have you taken the pledge yet? No matter what your role in the industry - CIASP has a pledge for you! Contractors, Unions, Associations, Service Providers, Partners in the Mental Health & Suicide Prevention space and also Project Owners. We all have a role to play in addressing mental health and suicide prevention in the construction industry.

Post the actions you are taking on social media and use the hashtag #STANDupforSuicidePrevention

Campaign: Culture of CARE
 
AGC of America has launched Culture of CARE, a national campaign that invites construction firms to build inclusive workplaces that are free from harassment, hazing and bullying by taking the Culture of Care pledge. More information about the campaign can be found at www.BuildCulture.org

   

CAREERS

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

525 Park Street, Suite 110  |   St. Paul, MN 55103
651-632-8929