2016 Masonry Industry Legislative Conference Recap
Another great week in Washington, D.C.
By Stephen Borg
In the midst of crazy political times, the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) had another great week in Washington, D.C., during our annual Legislative Conference. We had MCAA members from 11 states who took the time to meet with Representatives and Senators from their home states, providing them with an update on the masonry industry and the issues affecting their businesses. I wanted to take this time to recap the event for those of you who could not make it.
MCAA had five main issues to discuss this year during every visit. We tried to hit home the numerous ways that federal laws and regulations impact the mason contracting industry. Our top legislative effort this year was highlighting our need for robust workforce development programs, and our timing couldn’t have been better. Congress is beginning the process of reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Act (the federal law that created career and technical education programs), and we took the time to ask for more opportunities for business engagement within the program and more opportunities to remove the stigma related to CTE programs on the part of governments, administrators and parents.
Continuing our partnership with the National Concrete Masonry Association, we once again asked Representatives and Senators to cosponsor the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education, and Promotion Act, which, as you know, would provide the legal authority for the concrete block industry to hold a referendum vote on setting up a “check-off” program for the industry.
Members of Congress were very supportive of these requests, and many vowed to keep these issues — along with the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, and opposition to S. 2892, the Timber Innovation Act — on their radar screens as the legislative process rolls forward.
- Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
- Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
We appreciate all the MCAA members who took time out of their busy schedules to join us in Washington to advocate for our industry. We cannot overstate the importance of this week and the impact it has on our industry as whole. Keep an eye out for information regarding our 2017 Legislative Conference. We hope to see you there!
About the Author
Stephen Borg is Vice President of The Keelen Group.