This Week In the News

Department of Labor Proposes New Overtime Rules The U.S. Department of Labor proposed new overtime rules on March 14 that would raise the threshold salary level for “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The exemptions would increase from $23,660 a year ($455/week) to $35,308 a year ($679/week). The National Law Review reports the DOL also proposes to …

Construction Industry News

Deloitte’s 2019 engineering and construction industry outlook After growing at a rate of five percent in 2018, growth in the construction industry is expected to accelerate further during 2019, according to Deloitte’s 2019 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook. Mergers and acquisitions–which accounted for more than 340 deals worth $20 billion in 2018–will continue to play a lead role in boosting growth. …

Construction Industry News

How a Government Shutdown Affects Small Contractors With another federal government shutdown looming, construction contractors are bracing for more uncertainty. Small contractors, in particular, can be the most vulnerable to outside influences, wrote Vic Lance in Construction Executive during the recent 35-day federal government shutdown. Here are some of the concerns contractors may face again: Construction companies working for government …

General Assembly Turnover Results in Drastic Leadership Changes

The Maryland General Assembly is expected to change a little each election cycle, but this year resulted in significant transformation. The primary elections in June caused Marylanders and legislators alike to stir when many incumbent seats were overtaken by younger, more progressive Democrats. Republicans fought to gain five seats, which would have blocked veto overrides for Governor Hogan in his …

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Continues to Get Cheers and Jeers

Moody’s Investment Services reports that President Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan could create more private investment through public-private partnerships (P3s), according Construction Dive. https://www.constructiondive.com/news/moodys-trumps-infrastructure-plan-could-grow-p3-market/519506/ At a press conference hosted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), leaders of public transportation agencies across the country warned of the serious consequences to Trump’s proposed $52 billion in budget cuts to federal transit funding. …

“Blacklisting” Rule Gets Axed By President Trump

On March 27, President Donald Trump repealed the Department of Labor’s contentious Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act, also known as the “blacklisting” rule, a move welcomed by Associated Builders and Contractors and the merit shop construction industry, reports Construction Dive. ABC led the charge against the legislation, arguing it violated First Amendment rights of their members who would be …

Construction Backlog Fell During Last Quarter of 2016

Construction backlog fell by 4 percent during the last quarter of 2016, according to the latest Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Contractors in each segment surveyed—commercial/institutional, infrastructure and heavy industrial—all saw lower backlog during the fourth quarter, with firms in the heavy industrial segment experiencing the largest drop, down 16.8 percent to an average backlog …

New Coalition Advocates for Public, Private Funding for U.S. Infrastructure

The newly formed Coalition for American Infrastructure says that federal funding of U.S. infrastructure projects should be “sustainable,” and that its projected $3.3 million in nationwide infrastructure needs should be paid for by a mix of public and private investments, reports Construction Dive. http://www.constructiondive.com/news/new-coalition-promotes-public-private-funding-boost-for-us-infrastructure/436546/ Steady Growth Expected for Commercial Real Estate in 2017 In its quarterly commercial real estate forecast, …

Maryland Among Top States in Green Building

The U.S. Green Building Council ranked Maryland 7th nationwide for the number of green building projects in the state in 2016. Since the ranking was created in 2010, Maryland has been among the top green building states, hitting as high as 3rd in the nation in 2014. http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-green-building-20170125-story.html Office Construction Continues Upward Surge in 2017 Along with Marriott’s new headquarters …

Move Maryland Forward With These Initiatives, Says Dee Hodges of the Maryland Taxpayers Association

In an op-ed for MarylandReporter.com, Hodges offers several tax relief initiatives aimed at spurring growth and helping Maryland’s economy thrive. “Government should always be about fostering conditions — laws, regulations, and taxes — to better enable the citizens to thrive,” writes Hodges.  http://marylandreporter.com/2017/01/03/opinion-some-ideas-for-legislative-relief-to-help-maryland-thrive/ Federal Railroad Administration Plan Could Mean Economic Growth for Baltimore, State The Federal Railroad Administration’s recently released …