August 2016: Government Affairs

Words: Dan Kamys

Looking Ahead to the New Year

Stephen BorgBy Stephen Borg

Congress recently adjourned for the Presidential Nominating Conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia and their four-week summer District Work period. As a result, news out of Washington, D.C., will likely be slow or overshadowed by the November elections. Therefore, I wanted to take this time to put an important event on your radar: the 2016 MCAA Midyear Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Oct. 2–4. Your participation will help the Mason Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA’s) leadership, legislative committee, and myself lay the groundwork for our legislative agenda moving into 2017, when we will have a new U.S. President and a new Congress being sworn in. Looking into my crystal ball, I foresee MCAA continuing to place a heavy priority on workforce development issues and the impact that many of the regulations put forth by the Obama administration have had and will continue to have on our industry and economy. However, it is imperative that you, the MCAA members, show up in Scottsdale in order to continue conversations on issues that are impacting your business, your states and our industry. MCAA’s leadership, legislative committee and I will be there, having conversations on the issues we need to make a priority in Washington in the upcoming year. We would love to meet with as many of you as possible. It may seem like the start of 2017 is a long way off from the beginning of October. But presidential transition planning will have already begun within both parties, returning committee chairmen will have their eyes on moving major legislative packages in the first couple months of the new presidency, and both chambers will be staking their flags on major issues. One issue that has the potential to impact the masonry industry immensely — and which has already started to be talked about on both sides of the aisle — is the need for a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s tax code. We need to hear from you on how the tax code impacts your business, both positively and negatively. What better place to begin having those conversations than in sunny, warm Scottsdale? I have used this column many times in the past to encourage you to participate in the MCAA Annual Convention, the annual Midyear Meeting, and the annual Legislative Fly-In. Let me use this column again to encourage you to get involved, to stay involved, and to make your voice heard. The MCAA has been building a brand and respect in Washington, D.C., for many years, but it can only be as strong as you, its members, make it. Decisions are being made every day in Washington and in state capitols throughout the country that impact your business and our industry. If elected officials are not hearing from us, I can guarantee you they are hearing from the other side of the issue. So, as you take a break from the summer heat and transition into the fall, take time to think about how the government is impacting your business, take time to talk to your colleagues in the masonry industry, and make plans to join us in October for the Midyear Meeting. We need to hear from you, we need you to be involved, and we want to engage those who are making decisions every day that impact your business and the masonry industry as a whole.
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