Inside this issue
  ABC Announces Million-dollar Issue Advocacy Ad Buy  

Associated Builders and Contractors' Free Enterprise Alliance, which educates elected officials and the public about the importance of fair and open competition, today announced it has made a million dollar issue advocacy ad buy in 25 states nationwide. The advocacy campaign, which includes digital ads and mailers, will educate constituents on the dangers of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, highlight benefits of the Paycheck Protection Program and encourage voting in the upcoming election.

"As we work together towards a strong national recovery, it's critical that economic issues remain top of mind at this pivotal time," said Melanie Pfeiffenberger, director of political affairs for ABC. "Our goal is to send Americans a strong reminder that free enterprise is what powers a thriving economy."  

The ads outline the negative implications of the ABC-opposed PRO Act, legislation that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 6 and remains a priority for Democrats. If signed into law, the PRO Act will overturn freedom of choice in all existing right-to-work states, take away a worker's right to a secret union ballot and eliminate the ability for workers to pursue independent contracting opportunities.

FEA will encourage constituents to tell members of Congress to oppose the PRO Act, running digital ads in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"Hardworking Americans shouldn't have to pay union dues as a condition of employment," said Pfeiffenberger.  "Eliminating right-to-work in states across the country would devastate construction workers and discourage new workers from joining the industry. The goal should be to encourage workforce development, not hamper it with overly burdensome regulations."

The campaign additionally aims to educate ABC members and the public on important policies, such as the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program, that will speed America's return to widespread prosperity. The PPP program is a vital lifeline for small businesses, including the more than 177,000 in the U.S. construction industry, ensuring access to the liquidity and resources needed to remain in business and provide pay and benefits for hardworking employees.

Lastly, FEA will use digital and mail ads to encourage Americans in Minnesota, Florida and Pennsylvania to get out and vote in this upcoming election, prioritizing issues of free enterprise.




  Op-Ed: What's at Stake for Construction in the 2020 Elections  

Election day 2020 will shape our country for years to come. While there are still many unknowns, one thing is certain: As voters, it is our responsibility to elect congressional leaders who create the conditions for job creators to create jobs and help the entire workforce achieve their career dreams and whose policy positions support the construction industry, which is the backbone of the U.S. economy.

Over the last 4 years, confidence reported by chief executive officers in the construction industry has skyrocketed. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, construction spending hit a record $1.4 trillion per year, buoyed by a booming economy and record-low unemployment. Backlog soared. Passage of the first comprehensive tax reform in 30 years, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lowered the pass-through income tax rate by 10 points while doubling the estate tax exemption, spurring reinvestment and hiring throughout the U.S. economy­-including in the construction industry.

Historically, the construction industry has paid the highest effective tax rate of any industry in the U.S. As a direct result of the tax reform legislation, many construction companies had the capital to not only invest and expand their businesses, but also invest in their staff by recruiting new workers and expanding training and career opportunities for current employees.

Congress and the administration also joined the industry in taking steps to reduce the skills gap and expand workforce development opportunities. President Donald Trump established the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, to which ABC was appointed, and the National Council for the American Worker. He also launched the Pledge to America's Workers, which ABC signed, committing to recruit and upskill 500,000 workers between 2018 and 2023.

The bipartisan FIRST STEP Act, a criminal justice reform bill intended to reduce recidivism rates by improving educational opportunities for those seeking a second chance through reentry programs, was also signed into law. This bill allowed federal prisons to establish partnerships with private entities to provide incarcerated individuals with skills-based education that could lead to a career in industries like construction. These policy initiatives have helped to transform the image of the craft professional and attract more workers to the skilled trades. The average hourly wage for construction workers has increased by 11.2% since January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Looking ahead to the next 4 years, we need to keep this momentum strong. While what happens in Washington can seem far removed from our day-to-day lives, these legislative decisions now and in the coming months could have dramatic impacts on construction businesses, the workforce and local communities.

For example, if lawmakers on both sides of the aisle can find common ground on contentious policy issues and secure a sustainable funding source, an infrastructure bill could prove to be a bipartisan win-especially as America's schools, bridges and highways are deteriorating from coast to coast. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. infrastructure a D+ grade in 2017 and estimated there is a $2 trillion, 10-year investment gap.

While the need for infrastructure investment is clear, policymakers need to prioritize legislation that gives the public the best possible product at the best possible price and allows all U.S. construction workers and qualified companies to compete for public works projects on a level playing field. Such a plan cannot mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal and federally assisted construction projects and must instead invite all construction workers to bid and work on projects in their own communities, paid for by their own tax dollars. If PLAs are mandated on publicly funded construction projects, it will result in less competition and taxpayers will shoulder increased costs of 12% to 20%. That means taxpayers will receive only four schools, roads and bridges for the price of five.

In addition, lawmakers need to address the construction industry opposition against the divisive PRO Act (H.R. 2474), which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2020. This legislation is full of labor policy changes that would strip workers of their freedom, choice and privacy and repeal 27 state right-to-work laws. Simply put, this policy initiative will be detrimental to employers of almost nine out of 10 workers and would ultimately prevent firms and their skilled workforces from competing for taxpayer-funded construction projects.

We simply can't afford such waste with America's infrastructure in disrepair, especially as city and state budgets recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As legislation to address infrastructure needs is developed, policymakers at all levels of government must help create a business climate that provides the most value for the taxpayers' infrastructure dollars. These policy cornerstones will directly translate into additional career opportunities for all U.S. workers, as ABC estimates that every $1 billion in extra overall construction spending generates an average of at least 6,500 construction jobs.

As America continues to combat the health and economic ramifications of COVID-19, prioritizing a comprehensive infrastructure package rooted in fair and open competition, workforce recruitment, safety and upskilling can help get construction workers back on the jobsite, especially as the industry has only recovered 59% of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic-induced recession.

As voters, we need to make sure that the construction industry's voice is heard in November and we elect lawmakers who put partisan differences aside, tackle key issues and allow the best firms and workforce to rebuild America so we can help keep our economy competitive.



  Wall Street Journal Article on the ABC-Opposed PRO Act:  

In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday last week, the WSJ Editorial Board highlighted many of the radical provisions of the PRO Act. The article, titled "Big Labor's Big Senate Plans" also lays out the potential pathway for the ABC-opposed legislation should the U.S. Senate become controlled by a Democratic majority with a Biden Administration. Read the full article here. Additionally, the article is now uploaded to the Free Enterprise Alliance's new PRO Act website.



  ABC General Election Preview  
  The General Election is fast approaching on Tuesday, November 3.  We hope you have encouraged your employees to register to vote in this important election.

ABC has put together an election guide for all members to distribute to your employees. It lists all candidates running nationally, statewide and locally.  This will help your employees understand who is running in their district.

For a copy of this guide, please click here.  If you have any questions, please call the ABC office at 302-328-1111 or e-mail 


  ABC Election Briefing Sessions  

Join us for the ABC Election Briefing Series, powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance, as we provide insights on the nation's political landscape. 

This series will feature political experts who will provide updates on the political environment, highlight key races, dive into regional focus areas, and much more.

The ABC Election Briefing Series is free of charge and reserved for ABC members only. Webinars will not be recorded. For a list of dates prior and post election, click here.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Melanie Pfeiffenberger for more information at or (202) 595-1813.



  October Delaware Financial Outlook  

The Delaware Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) met last week to discuss the fiscal forecasts for FY21 and FY22. This was the first meeting of the new FY21 fiscal year and since DEFAC met last in June. Outlook remains highly uncertain, but slightly better in the near term than previously expected. Revenues are performing better than originally projected at the June meeting.  DEFAC significantly increased the revenue forecast and as a result, the FY22 appropriation limit is an increase of $405.8 million compared to the FY21 (current) budget.  When compared to FY21 projections made in Dec 2019 (pre-covid), revenues are still down about $182.3 million. 

  • FY21 anticipated revenues are projected to be $4,777.7 million and expenditures to be $4,653.8 million.
  • The Appropriation Limit for FY22 is projected to be $4,952.8 million (an 8.9% increase over FY21).

Revenue Detail: DEFAC increased the revenue forecast by $227.3 million in FY21 and $132.1 in FY22 since the June meeting. Annual projected revenue growth rates are -1.4% (actual) for FY20, 5.6% for FY21 and -1.9% for FY22. The anticipated growth in FY21 is largely due to delayed due dates in July of 2020. April and June 2020 shutdowns also significantly impacted revenues in FY20. Since the June DEFAC meeting, anticipated revenues for:

  • Personal income tax increased $88.3 million in FY21 and $64.9 million in FY22;
  • Dividends and Interest increased by $48.4 million in FY21;
  • Lottery increased by $32.8 million in FY21 and $26.3 million in FY22;
  • Unclaimed property increased by $132.1 million in FY22. 

Expenditure detail:  Expenditures are expected to increase by $139.9 million (3.1%) in FY21 compared to the FY20 actual expenditures. Anticipated expenditure increases in FY21 can largely be attributed:

  • $31.3 million in salary steps and CBAs and unit count growth
  • $47.8 million in Medicaid resulting from a volume increase (currently the Medicaid eligible population is 252,023 compared to 234,857 last year) and an anticipated reduction of federal share at the end of March.
  •  $61.7 million in Contractual services can largely be attributed to additional contractual services in DPH to combat COVID-19 and continued cash projects. 

Transportation Trust Fund: FY21 expenditures seem to be tracking at anticipated rates (small anticipated decrease in debt service of $1.6 m).  FY20 toll revenues decreased by about 14% compared to FY19 and are anticipated to grow 3.8% in FY21 compared to FY20. Fuel Tax dropped by 4.1% in FY20 compared to FY19 and is anticipated to grow 1.7% in FY21 compared to FY20. DMV revenues were down about 5.2% in FY20 (compared to FY19) and are expected to increase 3.9% in FY21 (compared to FY20). Total anticipated revenues for FY21 is projected at $572.9 million (increase of 2.7% from $558.1 in FY20). 

 DEFAC Health Care Benchmark: DEFAC voted to accept the subcommittee recommendation of setting the health care benchmark at 3.25%.



  ABC looking for volunteers on Election Day  
  ABC Delaware is looking for volunteers to offer at least 2 hours of assistance on Election Day in all 3 counties.

The volunteer work will be manning a polling place for a ABC Delaware supported candidate and thanking people for voting.  Personal involvement goes a long way in cementing our relationships with key legislators.

If you are interested, please fill out the volunteer form by clicking
here.  We will notify you prior to election day with your location.  We will get you all the materials necessary for the day prior to your assigned time.  Thanks for considering volunteering on election day.


Legislative Committee
Dec. 3
8:30 a.m.