Latest Legislative Updates

Read about recent activity on Energy Star, LRRP, tax reform and more
January 30, 2018
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE : Government

Government actions and legislation can have a profound impact on the organizations that make up the fenestration industry. Window & Door is committed to covering all the policy changes, appointments and recent action in Washington and what it means for our readers. Here, we've compiled links to the most recent headlines about government activities that impact the window and door industry, as well historical articles that mark a timeline of important issues. Plus, read industry commentary on the topics from our columnists and contributors.

Click to read more on each and be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates in this realm and all other relevant news.

Energy Star

News
House Committee Hearing Discusses Changes to Energy Star
November 14, 2017
The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on draft language that would make several changes to the Energy Star program, including moving the program back to the Department of Energy, subjecting the program to federal rulemaking requirements and providing liability protections for program participants.

Energy Star Funded at $33 Million in 2018
September 19, 2017
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association reports that on September 14, the House voted to pass a $1.2 trillion government-wide spending bill for fiscal 2018.

Trump Proposes Elimination of Energy Star Program
March 21, 2017
President Donald Trump released his budget blueprint, which serves as a framework for his official budget request to be released in May.

Industry Commentary
Energy Star’s Possible Privatization
By Rich Walker
September 18, 2017
Energy Star has become a highly visible target for budget sharpshooters looking to reduce the nation’s critical $20 trillion debt—some make a valid argument in this regard, but it’s also a potential excuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Energy Star at Risk
By Kelly Smith
June 27, 2017
Many manufacturers make energy efficient products but can’t justify the costs associated with labeling. For the many residential window and door manufacturers that comprise the fenestration industry, Energy Star has been a way of life since 1992. Now, that program may be substantially changing or going away completely.

LRRP

News

EPA Ordered to Revisit Lead Paint Standards
Jan. 16, 2018
San Francisco's federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals directed the Environmental Protection Agency to update its regulations defining lead-based paint and how much lead in dust represents a hazard.

WDMA Urges Reform of LRRP Rule
May 31, 2017 
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) finalized a congressional letter addressed to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt that urges the Agency to make needed reforms to the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.

WDMA Members Discuss LRRP on Capitol Hill
April 18, 2017
The Window & Door Manufacturers Association hosted its 2017 Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference in late March, where WDMA members met with congressional offices on Capitol Hill.

Industry Commentary
LRRP: Overregulation
By Rich Walker
February 8, 2017
In a recent installment of Industry Watch, we examined how the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule has unnecessarily hamstrung many contractors and increased costs without proven benefit to public health. Turns out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

LRRP: The Non-Problem That Won’t Go Away
By Rich Walker
October 17, 2016
The Environmental Protection Agency went live with its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on April 22, 2010. The measure (40 CFR §745.85, under the section entitled Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention in Certain Residential Structures) asks a lot.

Tax Reform

News
GOP Unveils Tax Reform Framework; Industries Respond
November 2, 2017
The Trump Administration, House Committee on Ways and Means, and Senate Committee on Finance released an outline of priorities for reforming the tax code. Titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax bill addresses corporate taxes, individual rates and the mortgage interest deduction.

Regulations

OSHA Extends Acceptance of 2016 Injury, Illness Reports through Dec. 31
December 18, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue accepting 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through the Injury Tracking Application until midnight on Dec. 31, 2017

USITC Rules that Canadian Softwood Lumber Injures U.S. Lumber Industry
December 7, 2017
The United States International Trade Commission ruled that the U.S. lumber industry was injured by Canadian softwood lumber imports, thereby upholding the substantial duties on the product from Canada.

Court Strikes Down Department of Labor Overtime Rule
September 5, 2017
The Window & Door Manufacturers Association reported that last week, a federal court in Texas struck down the Department of Labor rule that would have expanded overtime eligibility by more than doubling the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” or executive, administrative and professional exemptions.

Connecticut Governor Vetoes Warranty Bill
July 10, 2017
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) vetoed recently-passed legislation in Connecticut affecting consumer warranties for windows.

Connecticut General Assembly Passes Window Warranty Bill
July 10, 2017
The state of Connecticut recently passed a bill that would require all manufacturers of roofing, siding and window products to cover all labor and replacement costs in product warranties.

Connecticut General Assembly Considering Window Warranty Bill
June 6, 2017
The state of Connecticut recently passed a bill in the Senate, SB 821, that would require all manufacturers of roofing, siding and window products to cover all labor and replacement costs in product warranties.

EPA Publishes Draft Specification for Exterior, Interior Storm Windows
July 25, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency published for public review and comment the Draft 1 Specification and Criteria Analysis Report on Energy Star for Exterior and Interior Storm Windows.

WDMA Submits Comments to EPA on Major Rules
May 16, 2017
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association submitted written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in response to a request for comment on burdensome regulations.

EPA Solicits Comments on Burdensome Regulations
April 18, 2017
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on government regulations that are deemed too costly or deemed to inhibit job creation, among other factors, according to a release from the Window and Door Manufacturers Association.

House Introduces Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act
May 16, 2017
House Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced legislation to define the Department of Energy's role in the building code development process.

Bills Introduced to Stop Backdoor Regulations
January 24, 2017
Recently, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act (HR 469) while Sen Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a companion bill, S. 119, in the Senate. These bills prevent the ability of federal agencies to participate in back-door sue-and-settle arrangements with special interest groups, which circumvent established regulatory laws.

Trump Administration Issues Regulatory Freeze
January 24, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order to freeze all new federal regulations immediately and temporarily.

Industry Commentary
Do the Benefits of Regulations Truly Outweigh the Costs?
By Rich Walker
August 7, 2017
This May, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which seeks to reform the process federal agencies use to analyze and formulate new regulations.

EPA on the Chopping Block
By Rich Walker
May 27, 2017
As we have been observing over the last few articles, the regulations imposed by various federal agencies has, in large part, been initiated by a blizzard of executive orders. Many feel that these usurp the prerogatives of Congress and that duplicative and unnecessary rules have unjustifiably harmed manufacturers, without demonstrable benefit to the citizenry.

Other Government News

News

Congressman Visits Veka, Discusses Tax Reform
January 29, 2018
Congressman Keith Rothfus, representing Pennsylvania’s 12th District, toured Veka’s manufacturing facility in Fombell, Pennsylvania, where he met with management and employees to discuss the impact of the new tax reform on the building industry.

WDMA Releases 2018 National Policy Agenda
January 30, 2018
The Window & Door Manufacturers Association released its advocacy agenda for 2018. WDMA says the agenda outlines important policy priorities for the window, door and skylight industry that it believes will boost the housing and construction industry and support continued job creation in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Scott Mugno Nominated to Lead OSHA
October 30, 2017
President Trump nominated Scott A. Mugno to head up the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as assistant secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health.

Schools Must Discuss Skilled Labor Jobs in Colorado
August 29, 2017
During the 2017 legislative session, the Colorado legislature enacted House Bill 1041, which requires that schools discuss the various career pathways available to postsecondary students, and the types of certificates and jobs to which each pathway leads.

Congressional Appropriators Work to Pass Spending Bills
July 25, 2017
Congress is continuing the budgeting process for fiscal year 2018 and key congressional committees are working to pass appropriations bills that fund the government starting October 1, the Window & Door Manufacturers Association reports, which could include cutbacks on several programs including Energy Star.

WDMA Releases 2017 National Policy Agenda
February 14, 2017
The Window & Door Manufacturers Association released a comprehensive advocacy agenda for 2017, which outlines important policy priorities for the window, door and skylight industry that will boost the housing and construction industry and support continued job creation in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Industry Commentary
DOL Moves to Redefine Overtime Pay Rules
By Rich Walker
March 28, 2017
In the last installment of Industry Watch, we looked at the Department of Labor’s move to redefine overtime pay. As readers may recall, the new edict proposed last summer set out to essentially double the salary threshold under which employees would have to be paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 per week from the current annual level of $23,660 to $47,476.

The Social Cost of Carbon
By John Nolan
October 18, 2017
A little over a year ago, we provided a general summary of then-recent events relating to the development and implementation of an innovative conceptual number, expressed monetarily, known as the “Social Cost of Carbon.”

California’s Prop 65 Gives Food for Thought
Paul R. Gary
May 27, 2017
California’s Proposition 65 is hardly new, and it is relatively well-known that it requires manufacturers to establish potential warning label requirements for, among other things, all goods sold for consumer use in California.