1/21/2021 Update: Government Affairs
Good Afternoon Everyone!
I hope everyone is doing well today! I have a few things I wanted to let you know about and a few others we need your input on.
Once again, Rep. Torr has decided to try and impede our business model by proposing a piece of legislation that would remove the capacity of towns and municipalities to adopt any standards for awarding work which are more stringent than state bidding laws. This would preclude a host of local ordinances that allow for responsible bidder standards, project labor agreements, and others. We feel that robbing a customer of their discretion to consider something other than the lowest bid when awarding projects is a fundamental affront to basic commerce and, far from protecting the consumer, removes their ability to choose as they see fit.
To this end, we are asking you to let us know if you happen to have any connections with the city or county government throughout the state (or even the Governor’s office) that we could leverage into putting together a coalition to stop this bill.
FFCRA and NEBF
We just received a memo from NECA National about a recent decision of the NEBF Board of Trustees regarding the FFCRA. As you might recall, last summer, the Trustees created an exemption to their requirement that NEBF be collected on gross payroll for FFCRA Benefits. The NEBF has different language than our other benefits in that, by specifying it be collected on gross payroll, the performance of work is not a prerequisite for collection. Therefore, that exemption was necessary in order to not make the payments for FFCRA benefit allocations.
For reasons I’ll never be able to fathom, the NEBF has just reversed that exemption, and now, if you make FFCRA payments, you WILL have to pay NEBF on them as well. As a reminder, effective January 1, you do not HAVE to continue making those payments, but if you do, NEBF will be owed.
PPP Loan Q&A with the SBA?
With most of your business lenders now offering the 2nd draw of PPP loans, we’ve had some questions come into the office about what the changes in terms and conditions are for this round. I reached out to the SBA, and they responded that they would be happy to do a quick (20 min) rundown on the PPP loan process and terms as well as a longer Q&A (30-40 min) session for us via Zoom. Is this something that you would be interested in? Please send me an email if you would be, and we can get it set up. If no one is interested, I can just let them know that as well.
New President, same goals
I’ve gotten a lot of calls asking what NECA plans to do with (or about) our new President. Folks, NECA’s party affiliation is…pragmatism. We work with whomever is in power to help provide you the best chance of success in your business model. We’re just over 1 day into this new administration so we don’t quite know exactly what that entails for us at this time. That doesn’t mean we aren’t watching it closely.
We are absolutely monitoring the White House Executive Orders Page as we anticipate at least 10 new orders to be posted today. We are also closely monitoring the DOL site as well in anticipation of any new policies or guidance. As of today, no new changes.
NECA Safety Awards Application
It’s that time of the year again! If you haven’t applied for the NECA Safety Award or Zero Injury Award, there’s still time! You can apply right here.
That’s it for now. Thanks, everyone, and have a great day!