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    Spokesman blog

    Ask an Attorney: The Dangers of Waivers and Releases

    Make sure you read and understand release/waiver forms you sign in exchange for payment. Some contractors mistakenly believe these forms are harmless documents.
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    State Budget Revenue Package Approved

    State Budget Revenue Package Approved After ten calendar days, the $31.5 billion budget, passed with bipartisan support in the General Assembly, lapsed into law without the signature of Governor Wolf. His objection to the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget was that it lacked a sustainable revenue source and after relying on a series of one-time fixes, ended up roughly $150 million short. Though there was no revenue package on his desk by the end of the ten day deadline, he did not veto the budget like last year, but rather let it take effect as of midnight on July 11th.  Yesterday, the General Assembly approved a revenue package by a vote of 116-75 in the House and 28-22 in the Senate. Totaling nearly $1.3 billion in new revenue, the bill covers the spending approved by the legislature earlier this month while also offering a variety of modified tax credits.  The new sources of revenue include: A $1 increase in the cigarette tax; Additional taxes on smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette ... Read the rest of entry »

    Ask an Accountant: Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction (179D) – a Reminder for Contractors/Designers

    The government continues to provide incentives for green building, but are you taking advantage of all the tax savings related to the commercial buildings you are designing and/or constructing?
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    Tick Tock - Gov. Wolf Reviews Spending Plan

    After months of bipartisan rhetoric that appeared to show a strong sense of cooperation, House and Senate leaders hit the home stretch and  delivered an on-time spending plan to the desk of Governor Wolf with  hours to spare before the July 1st Constitutional deadline. 
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    The Latest ABC Keystone Member Updates and News - July 2016

    The Latest ABC Keystone Member News Read the rest of entry »

    Plumbing Licensure Advances

    Amidst a hectic schedule to enact a spending plan for the Commonwealth by June 30th, the Senate also passed legislation that would create establish Licensed Plumbing Contractors in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 703, introduced by Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-Delaware), passed by a 44-6 vote.  Read the rest of entry »

    Ask an Attorney: OFCCP Updates Sex Discrimination Rule

    Ask an Attorney: OFCCP Updates Sex Discrimination Rule Guest Author: Lori L. Buntman, Esq., Harmon & Davies, P.C. Last week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a Final Rule that sets forth the requirements that covered contractors must meet under the provisions of Executive Order 11246 that prohibit sex discrimination in employment. This Final Rule updates—for the first time in 40 years—the 1970 sex discrimination guidelines with new regulations that align with current law and address the realities of today’s workplaces. The new Rule, which will go into effect on August 15, 2016, addresses contractors’ responsibilities and clarifies protections for employees of federal and federally assisted contractors and subcontractors on issues related to “sex-based barriers to equal employment and fair pay, including compensation discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, a lack of workplace accommodations for pregnant workers ... Read the rest of entry »

    2016 LegCon Meetings Follow Congressional Drama

    Last Thursday, ABC members from across the nation descended on Washington, D.C. for a day of meetings with federally elected officials, underscoring the local effect of recent rules on union organizing, mandated labor sourcing, and environmental effects.  What happened hours earlier, however, made the trip all that much more unique. Read the rest of entry »

    Pennsylvania Is Rolling Out Its New Medical Marijuana Law

    On May 17, 2016, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act, Act 16, went into effect. Act 16 legalizes the prescription and use of medical marijuana by persons with a “serious medical condition” in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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    What Are You Trying to Say? Understanding the Importance of Proper Written Language

    Proper and effective communication is key to any prosperous relationship. Workplace communication can take many forms. Understanding that written communication can easily be misinterpreted due the author’s writing style, the tone being construed differently than intended, or improper use of terms or phrases, the author needs to make a conscious effort to relay their message effectively. 

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