Blog

  • 20 Apr 2015 8:31 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    BAM Report from April 17, 2015

    The Spending Debate Begins…

    Spring break is over, Minnesota’s Legislators have 6 weeks to finish their 2015 work, and it’s all about the money. In the mix for the homestretch are the state’s biennial budget and a transportation package. With a projected $2 Billion surplus, Governor Dayton’s proposed budget funnels most of the surplus into government programs with a heavy emphasis on schools.

    The Governor is also proposing a gas tax of at least 16 cents per gallon and higher vehicle registration fees as part of his transportation package. House Leadership has a very different idea regarding the surplus and transportation packages, and it has been suggested that the state should possibility use the state’s nearly $1.8 billion budget surplus as well as redirect existing taxes on vehicle rentals and leases for road and bridge repairs.

    Fueling the end of session debate is the Governor’s newly unveiled $842 Million bonding proposal and includes $200 Million for college campus improvements and $78 Million for railroad safety. This proposal is facing a strong headwind. Major bonding bills are generally reserved for even-year sessions, a preference expressed by both House and Senate leadership earlier this year when they declined to include debt payments in their proposed 2015 budget outlines. If a bonding bill is to pass this year, regardless of the level of funding, it will require a three-fifths vote of both the House and Senate.

    About the Policy…

    Prior to the Legislature’s spring break, hundreds of policy related pieces of legislation, including proactive codes related bill pursued by BAM and BATC, were debated and left either dead or alive.

    BAM is happy to report the continued progress (and live status) of the codes bill.

    Representative Tama Theis and Senator John Pederson are authoring the industry’s 2015 codes process bill. The bill codifies a six-year code cycle (a practice that’s been informally in place since 2000), increases the implementation time before a new code becomes effective to be no less than 9 months, and requires the new code to be published on-line and accessible to the public prior to its effective date. Representative Vogel is spearheading a bill to clarify a performance path avenue for the energy code. Both bills are contained in the House Omnibus Jobs bill.

    To date, there have been 2,192 bills introduced in the House and 2,043 bills introduced in the Senate. Many of the bills have died. In addition to keeping the industry bills alive, our government affairs teams and lobbyists have been actively working on several dead or dying and alive bills, too.

    For the full report login to BAM’s members-only website www.bamn.org/legislation.

    Thank You!

    Many thanks to BAM’s government relations committee for all its advice and direction; we know volunteering on this committee is time consuming, but your input is priceless. Thank you to Jane DeAustin (CMBA), James Vagle (BATC), and Matt Limoges (RAB) for all their hard work. Accolades go to the industry’s contract lobbyists Brian Halloran, Pete Coyle, Larry Redmond, Andrea Perzichilli, and Forrest Cyr. BAM will prepare for all members a session wrap up soon after the close of the regular session. 


  • 16 Apr 2015 1:23 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Summary of BAM report emailed to CMBA members 4/10/15
    "Is it Dead or Alive?" view full report here

    Gov. Mark Dayton delivered his fifth State of the State Thursday, April 9, 2015.  He use the time before a joint convention of the Legislature to promote his end of session goals for the budget, capital investment, transportation, gas tax, and education – from pre-school to community college.

    Setting the tone for the last month and a half of session, Governor Dayton tee’d up his State of the State address with this quote:  “During the remaining six weeks of this legislative session, we will face our own moments of truth: Will we do what is easy, safe and popular or will we risk our political lives to preserve this great state for future generations?” We shall see, but what we do know is that there is a lot of work to be done, including plenty of work for the residential construction industry on some very particular pieces of legislation, outlined below.

    Attorney’s Fees, Contracts, & Law Suits

    • Attorney Fees Awarded to Homeowners

    • Common Interest Communities / Notice and Opportunity to Repair / Breach of Contract or Negligence – this bill is on hold until 2016. 

    • Duty to Defend / Indemnification 

    • Point of Sale Contamination Awareness Act 

    Codes

    • Border Cities and Mille Lacs County 

    • Fire Protection Awareness Act – this bill would have required builders to show a video to prospective homebuyers about the merits of sprinklers and disclose new homes built in Minnesota do not comply with the ICC model residential code. The industry opposes this bill and it did not get a hearing prior to deadline. 

    • Single Family Home Buyers Public Safety Protection Act – this bill would have required potential homebuyers to watch a video about sprinkler systems and sign a disclosure prior to closing. The industry opposes this bill and it did not get a hearing prior to deadline. 

    • Sprinklers – Leadership and lobbyists from BAM and BATC finally met face-to-face with the Governor to educate him on the lack of reason or necessity for the sprinkler mandate. Observers report that the Governor was not moved. Legislators continue to seek ways to eliminate the mandate and we expect to see continued debate on the issue in 2015 and beyond. 

    • Responsible Contractor – small changes have been made to the 2014 law to eliminate some of the “gotcha” loopholes in the bill that would have tripped up contractors working on publicly funded projects. BAM supports the 2015 improvements and is working with AGC to keep it moving through the process. 

    • Retainage 

    Environment

    • 50’ Buffers – Governor Dayton surprised everybody when he announced his goal for a 50’ buffer for all properties that have exposed soils and non-perennial coverage. 

    • State assumption of federal wetland permitting authority (wetlands & section 404 permitting) 

    Municipal Fees & Land Development

    • Street Utilities 

    • “Safe Routes To School” Infrastructure Zoning Mandate 

    Agency Related Provisions

    • OSHA Employee Misconduct Defense 

    • Radon Remediation Contractor License 

    • DLI $75 License Fee Reduction – the Department of Labor and Industry is proposing a $75 reduction in the residential licensing fees. This is because the Contractor Recovery Fund is currently quite flush. This idea is part of an agency housekeeping bill and is moving through the legislature. The industry supports this fee reduction. 

    • Qualified Persons Sanctions 

    Workforce Housing Initiatives 

  • 15 Apr 2015 9:02 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    In 2014, the bottom fifth of Americans (incomes up to $24,200/year) earned 4.5% of income and paid -2.2% of income taxes (because of credits like EITC). The next quintile earned 9.3% of income and paid -1% of income taxes. The middle quintile earned 14.8% and paid 5.9%, while the fourth quintile earned 20% and paid 13.4%. The top quintile earned 51.3% of all income and paid 83.9% of income taxes.

    Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is President of GraphsandLaughs, LLC and can be reached at Elliot@graphsandlaughs.net.  His daily 70 word economics and policy blog can be seen at www.econ70.com.


  • 27 Mar 2015 11:15 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    As a general contractor you must make sure all your subs are registered contractors if they aren't already required to have a license. According to DLI:

    An individual or business entity that performs commercial or residential building construction or improvement services must register with DLI unless they: 

    • have a current license, certificate or registration issued by DLI;

    • have a current independent contractor exemption certificate (ICEC);

    • are an employee of a business performing construction services; or

    • hold a current residential building contractor or remodeler certificate of exemption issued by DLI; or

    • are excluded from registration requirements under Minnesota Statutes 181.723, subd. 4a.

    Contractors who hire unregistered subcontractors, misclassify workers or fail to register are in violation of the law and can be charged with civil penalties.

    Verify "Contractor Registration" with DLI's License Lookup searchable database: 

    • "License class" select "Business"

    • "Select a discipline" select "Registered Contractors"

    • "Select a classification" select "CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION"

    • Click "Search" button

    • Results will show names and status of currently registered contractors

    How to register: 
    http://www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/register.asp

    Question: http://www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/register_other.asp

    Contact DLI: P (651) 284-5074 | E  dli.register@state.mn.us

  • 16 Mar 2015 3:38 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Exhibitors up 6%

    2015 - 283 booths / 175 vendors
    2014 - 271 booths / 165 vendors
    (income down due to less non-members)
    2013 - 268 booths / 167 vendors
    2012 - 243 booths / 157 vendors

    Attendance up 14.5%

    4,972 tickets collected (adults and seniors only – kids 12 and under no tickets).
    Plus 120 attended the Chamber Connection
    Plus 928 vendors
    2015 – Fri 1,313; Sat 2,551; Sun 1,294; (4,972) Chamber 120.
           Vendors 928, Last hour 30 = 6,050
    2014 – Fri 1,025; Sat 2,259; Sun 1,056; (4,340) Chamber 136;
            Vendors 880; Last hour 30 = 5,356
    2013 – Fri 1,220; Sat 1,892; Sun 1,084; (4,196) Chamber 150;
           Vendors 908; Last hour 30 = 5,284
    2015 Adults – 3,019 | Seniors 2015 – 1,953
    2014 Adults – 3,002 | Seniors 2014 – 1,338
    2013 Adults – 2,615 | Seniors 2013 – 1,581

    Admission passes used (HomeShow passes mailed to members) 1,160 in 2015; 1,023 in 2014

    Value Connection passes sold 148 returned 141 in 2015, 90 in 2014
    $1 off coupons 725 in 2015; 539 in 2014
    Fish Fry tickets 257 sold in 2013; 133 in 2014; 237 in 2015

    Budget numbers continue to be processed.

  • 23 Jan 2015 3:27 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Starting Saturday January 24, 2015 the new 2015 Minnesota Residential Building Code is effective. Builders Association of Minnesota (BAM) has prepared guides for members to help meet the new requirements. The guides include:


    • Cantilevered Foundation Wall Guide
    • Foundation Wall Support Guide
    • 2015 Minnesota Building Code
    • 2015 Minnesota Energy Code (effective Feb. 14)
    • 2015 Fire Sprinkler System Requirements
    • 2015 Radon Requirements (effective Feb. 14)
    • Top 20 Changes to the 2015 Minnesota Building Code
    • Top 20 Changes to the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code

    If you’re a member - be sure to download these resources.

    Don't know your password? Click Home and forgot password to reset.

    If you’re not a member yet - join today for access to the code guide.

  • 04 Sep 2014 9:38 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)
    posted on behalf of ~Bill Sullivan, President/CEO, Heartland Glass
    Executive Vice President, Brin Northwestern

    (excerpt from August 2014 Newsletter)

    Sold Out! That was the e-mail I received last week from one of our major suppliers. They informed us that they won't be taking any new orders for
    projects with more than twenty lites of glass until April of 2015! It's the first time that I can recall that ever happening. This news quickly spread as I received a call from an editor from one of the industry trade magazines asking me if I had heard the news and what does that mean?

    Well, it means that we are scrambling to accelerate orders that we have commitments for with this particular vendor. We, as well as many other glazing contractors across the country, are having to notify customers to change specifications on those projects that haven't been released yet. This has impacted our other glass suppliers as they are filling up on orders that are being directed away from the sold out vendor. Lead times are at levels that we haven't seen in last 10-15 years. When the recession hit, our vendors were able to offer service and deliver products in as little as 3-5 days and our customers have been conditioned to expect that. We all got a little lazy and relied on being able to place orders at the last minute and still deliver. Occasionally we had to whine a little to get products but our vendors needed the orders. Times have changed and we need to change too! Communication (we have heard this before) is more important than ever. Our sales staff are putting lead times on our bids and project managers are requesting contractors sign an opening size guarantee all in an effort to deliver a quality product within a reasonable amount of time.

    Just as we were conditioned to expect "drive thru" service, we need to condition ourselves to expect a more reasonable delivery. The silver lining on this is that it points to the fact that the economy is heating up and this should lead to increased revenues and profits. Stay tuned......

  • 20 Aug 2014 12:03 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Your customers want to know they are dealing with a reputable company. An important strategy to boost their confidence is to use the HBA Member logo in all of your marketing and advertising.


    Why is it Important to Use the HBA Logo? 

    • Repeated consumer surveys have shown that the HBA has a favorable impression among large sample sizes of the public
    • Creates brand identity
    • Makes your business look established
    • Gives you a competitive edge - those who don't use it lack instant credibility among buyers who are reassured by an industry affiliation designation
    • Consumers will be more likely to do business with a company who has made the decision to be a part of the official association representing the local home building industry
    • Often, it is the least informed, least trained, least innovative, least financially stable companies who choose not to join the HBA
    • The HBA becomes an even stronger voice for the housing industry
    • Provides a way to show commitment to the industry and community
    • Shows potential customers you are part of a recognized association whose members are asked to adhere to a code of ethics


    Where Should I Use the HBA Logo? 

    • Web site
    • Print ads
    • Letterhead
    • Signage
    • Signature block in emails
    • Business cards
    • Company vehicles

     

    How Do I Get the Free HBA Logo in the Format I Need?
    You can download the logo once you log in at 
    http://www.cmbaonline.org/resources-members/logos/ 

    or  we will be happy to email you the format you need, let us know if you also need the BAM and NAHB logo contact colleen@cmbaonline.org

     

    What About Free HBA Member Window/Vehicle Stickers?
    CMBA provides these upon request. 


     


  • 24 Jul 2014 11:19 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    From NAHB Labor, Safety & Health Policy Staff:

     

    There are strong signs that OSHA is increasing its enforcement actions on home building sites throughout the countryundefinedin both Federal and state plan jurisdictions.  One of the main reasons is that new data shows the number of fatalities in residential construction increased by 37% compared to just a 3% increase in nonresidential construction in 2012, which is the most recent data available.  OSHA has also instituted a number of local enforcement emphasis programs aimed at reducing numerous construction hazards, including those in residential.

     

    There are a few simple things that builders and trade contractors should do to improve safety on the jobsite and be prepared for OSHA inspections:

     

    ·        Conduct an assessment to identify and correct safety hazards on the jobsite;

    ·        Conduct appropriate safety training for employees;

    ·        Update records and make sure they are readily available;

    ·        Understand the OSHA inspection process (see link below to NAHB’s OSHA Inspection Toolkit).

     

    Builders and trade contractors should pay particular attention to the following hazards, which are the top 10 most frequently cited Federal OSHA construction standards in 2013 (click on the link to access the OSHA standard):

    1. 1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection
    2. 19260.451 - General scaffold requirements
    3. 1926.1053 - Ladders
    4. 1926.503  - Fall protection training requirements
    5. 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication
    6. 1926.102  - Eye and face protection
    7. 1926.100  - Head protection
    8. 1926.453 - Aerial lifts
    9. 1926.651 - Specific Excavation Requirements
    10. 1926.20 - General safety and health provisions

     

    In regards to No. 9 above, there have been some recent questions by builders about OSHA’s requirements for house foundations/basement excavations.  For those parts of the country where basements are common, the area between the house foundation and basement excavations becomes a trench (by OSHA’s definition) when constructing formwork, foundations, or walls.  In 1995, OSHA issued a memo “Suspension of 29 CFR 1926.652 to House Foundation/Basement Excavations”, whereby the agency altered the trenching/exaction requirements of the regulation as they apply to house construction, which is still in effect at the present time.  This memo essentially requires house foundations to be benched 2 feet horizontal for every 5 feet vertical (for a diagram of what this looks like, see page 2 of NAHB’s Trenching Safety Card) and the other conditions outlined in the memo exist.  More information for OSHA’s trenching and excavation requirements can also be found in NAHB’s Trenching and Excavation Safety Handbook.

     

    Finally, there are additional resources to assist builders:

     

     

    Members contact the NAHB Labor, Safety and Health Policy staff: Rob Matuga, at rmatuga@nahb.org or 800-368-5242 Ext. 8507 or Chelsea Vetick at cvetick@nahb.org or Ext. 8590.


  • 24 Jun 2014 11:28 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    from USPS Developers Guide 

    During the development stage of a new subdivision, it is the responsibility of the developer and/or builder to pay the costs necessary to bring streets, sidewalks, water, phone, gas, and electric service into a new development.  Like utility companies, the Postal Service is a service-based organization.  We provide the service of mail delivery; however, we do not provide the mail receptacle.  

    It is the policy of the U. S. Postal Service that mail delivery to all new developments is centralized delivery, most often using cluster box units (CBU).  In the Northland District, as in other parts of the country, it is the responsibility of the customer (developers and builders) to provide the necessary mail receptacle equipment. All developments with 5 homes or more will be required to have mailbox clusters rather than individual boxes. This includes existing developments and new.

    The authority for this is from the Postal Operations Manual (POM).  Section 632, Mail Receptacles, states that,

                Appropriate mail receptacles must be provided for the receipt of mail.  The type of mail receptacle depends on the mode of delivery in place.  Purchase, installation, and maintenance of mail receptacles are the responsibility of the customer.

    The POM also advises that appropriate locations for installation be verified and approved by the Postal Service and local government.

    To facilitate the most cost-effective delivery of mail into the 21st century, I am committed to assisting all customers, both large developers and individual customers, with references for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of authorized mail receptacle equipment.

     

    All developments with 5 homes or more will be required to have mailbox clusters rather than individual boxes.  This includes existing developments and new.

    All developments with 5 homes or more will be required to have mailbox clusters rather than individual boxes.  This includes existing developments and new.

CMBA:
1124 West Saint Germain Street, St. Cloud MN 56301
320.251.4382 info@cmbaonline.org | www.cmbaonline.org
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