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Industry Professionals Make Their Voices Heard at Texas’ Capitol

2016 was a whirlwind election year that kept the entire country on the edge of their seats. Now that the results are in, it’s time to look onward to 2017. Each year, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) members join as one powerful voice to inform elected officials about the issues affecting the construction industry and to showcase the opportunities and diversity ABC members contribute to our industry and the Texas economy.

On February 20-21, 2017, ABC members from all eight chapters in Texas will travel to the state’s capitol to speak to elected officials about issues currently impacting the industry and Free Enterprise. This momentous occasion is known as ABCs Legislative Day. “This will be my first time attending Legislative Day and I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Craig D. Messer, Vice President of ISC Constructors, LLC. “I’ve been preparing by attending board meetings, reading legislative updates, and remaining up-to-date on the issues we’re focusing on. I think it’s very important for us as contractors to stay involved with legislators and ABC has given us this opportunity.

ABC serves as the lynchpin by keeping members informed of current issues, being their political voice, and connecting them to elected officials. ABC has a list of high priority issues that will
be on the table for discussion during Legislative Day. Some of those issues are Neutrality in State Government Contracting, Lien Law Modernization, Public Employees Dues Deduction,
Retainage/Trust Fund, Worker Misclassification, and more.
Jon Fisher, ABC of Texas President, said, “Legislative Day is the perfect opportunity to help with the ABC of Texas Legislative Agenda. Rest assured, Legislators care more about the concerns of constituents and others from their area than lobbyists!”

It’s essential for ABC members to take the time to engage and testify to their local legislators about these issues because that is how real change happens. Without the factual accounts of how
certain issues and policies affect the industry, it’s a challenge to engage in effective conversation and affect change.
“I’ve attended Legislative Day more than four times in the last eight years and am excited to attend this year,” said John Hinson, Division President- Dallas/Ft. Worth of Marek Brothers Systems, Inc. “This session, I will be focused on the Worker Misclassification Issues, Lien Law, and the Retainage/Trust Fund. I was nervous the first time I ever attended Legislative Day, but if you do your research and share real accounts of how these issues are affecting your business, you will be amazed the type of impact you can have.”

In 2015, more than 100 ABC members filled the offices of legislators to testify and educate them about construction business issues, the importance of having certain bills passed and more. The goal is to have the elected official review the material. We also try to have ABC members attend committee meetings to testify in front of the committee—thus putting real life experience in front of the Legislature. “It doesn’t matter how long you have been an ABC member, if your business is feeling the impact from an issue that your local legislators can help change, you should be present on Legislative Day,” said Russell Hamley, ABC Greater Houston Chapter President.

To learn more about Legislative Day and to register, contact your local ABC chapter or click here!

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