Be the Change

Jewel Toned Interiors Blog

 
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As part of our speaker program at Construction Executive’s Association (CEA), we always kick the year off with a presentation by Peter Dyga, the President and C.E.O. of Associated Builders and Contractors, commonly referred to as "ABC" in the construction industry. One of ABC’s key missions is to pursue legislative goals for the industry and ABC of Florida is a dedicated group, as often it can take years to achieve their goals!
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Peter informed us that the annual legislative session for the state of Florida begins tomorrow, on January, 11th, 2022. Although the Floridian legislature only meets for 60 days of the year and are considered "part-time" they work year-round, meeting with committees and constituents.

Dyga started his presentation with a quote by Joe Rogers, making a call to arms for all business owners in the room: "Get into politics or get out of business!" He mentioned that most people say they want "good government" but not all people are willing to make the effort for change. Dyga also said, "We need to educate elected officials (about the unique aspects and needs of the construction industry)."

He also brought to our attention that we must be grateful that the state of Florida deemed construction companies as "essential business", a term new to everyone’s vocabulary, brought about by the global pandemic.

His three key actions that we all need to take are as follows:

1. Elect the right officials

2. Educate them

3. Come up with issues in the industry as well as solutions

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I learned many new facets about Florida state government including:

  • Florida, like most U.S. states, have bi-chamber legislature, much like D.C., meaning they have both a Senate and a House of Representatives
  • Senate bills are represented by an even number and House bills are represented by odd numbers
  • An individual in each chamber must be interested and dedicated enough to fight for a bill since a bill must be passed in both chambers, in identical format
  • By Rule, A bill must have received a hearing by at least one committee before going to vote in either chamber
  • This gives committees the opportunity to ask questions and poke holes in the argument

In summary, the first check and balance if a bill is legit, is if there are parallel bills in both chambers.

Peter reminded us that, "Success does not just happen. It requires deliberate thinking, problem solving, and investment of people’s time, talent and treasure to actually happen."

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For 2022, ABC is focused on supporting ODP, Owner Direct Purchases, where a business owner can buy materials separate from services, saving state sales tax. They’re also supporting Building Construction Policies so that construction companies won’t have to pay to see public bid opportunities. ABC will continually support changing the conversation around post secondary education, a topic I wrote about last year after attending Dyga’s 2021 presentation. https://jeweltoned.com/lets-trade-up/

What other issues do you think need to be addressed for our industry?