The construction industry is watching anxiously to see how the Legislature will respond to the limitations established by Initiative 695—particularly the limitations it has placed on the the state Department of Transportation—a key source of construction contracts.

The Associated General Contractors of Washington (AGC), for example, has established legislative priorities that include infrastructure investment and public works construction.

In the short term, the AGC will work to convince the Legislature to restore funding for transportation projects for 2000 and 2001. For the long term, AGC will encourage greater participation by construction and other industries in the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation.

AGC will seek to assist the commission in developing a menu of potential funding options for inclusion in the body’s report to the governor and Legislature late next year. It also plans to aggressively seek alliances with others interested in influencing transportation funding in the years to come.

Other issues high on the AGC’s agenda for the current legislative session include the environment, construction liability, business and workforce regulation, and compensation insurance and workplace safety.

AGC says it is committed to helping its members create safe and healthy work environments, but finds fault with claims associated with ergonomics standards proposed by the state Department of Labor and Industries and will prepare a position paper on the standards.

AGC of Washington is the state’s largest and oldest construction industry group. Its 600 members include general contractors, specialty contractors and subcontractors. AGC’s headquarters is in Seattle but it has district offices in Tacoma, Yakima and Bellingham.

For more information, see AGC’s web site at www.agcwa.com.

By Christopher Hord, Business Examiner staff