During the closing night celebration, J. Randy Okland of Okland Construction was installed as the new chairman of the Utah chapter, taking over from Robert Tempest of Tempest Enterprises. Mark Green of M.C. Green & Sons will serve as vice chairman, with Doug Welling of Jacobsen Construction as secretary/treasurer.
The Utah Legislature began its 2012 session on Jan. 23, just days before the start of this year’s AGC convention, and according to AGC of Utah President Rich Thorn, the construction community will have its usual strong presence.
“We have four lobbyists working for AGC this session, and we will have people up there every day,” Thorn said.
Two issues are of particular interest to contractors in this session—changes to the amount that school districts can withhold from construction contracts and adjustments to unemployment compensation requirements. Thorn said the AGC will support changes to the state statute that specify 5% of payments to a contractor can be withheld on projects for school districts statewide until all contracted work is completed.
“We thought that 5% had become the law, but some school districts felt they could hold back more,” he said. “This will clear the issue up for everyone.”
Thorn said AGC is also supporting a 2% reduction in unemployment fund contributions from the current 9.4% to 7.4%.
“Of course, any issues related to budget allocations and health-care mandates from the state we are also concerned about, and we’d like to have a say in,” he said.
Thorn said that AGC members have great confidence in and respect for Utah’s elected officials. “We have people who are dedicated to doing what is best for our state, and it is not easy,” he said. “But they are very business friendly and they understand our industry. Utah is always ranked among the top places in the country to do business,” he added.