The all-encompassing appropriations bills, split in two for domestic spending and military and national security spending, contained a host of provisions that will affect the construction industry. First, the bill extended tax provisions for the 179D deduction for energy-efficient buildings, which allows a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for the installation of energy-efficient property. Specifically, builders have to show a 50 percent reduction in the energy utilized by the building's envelope, lighting and HVAC systems; the New Markets Tax Credit, which attracts private capital into low-income communities; and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The bill also eliminated the HIT tax. A product of the controversial 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have resulted in tens of millions of Americans suffering increased health insurance premiums. The IRS estimated the HIT would add $16 billion to the cost of coverage for individuals, small businesses, families, and Medicare Advantage seniors. Additionally, the HIT would have cost families about $5,000 in higher premiums over the next decade. Eliminating the HIT has been a key health care priority for ABC since 2011. The bill also eliminated the ACA’s Cadillac tax and medical device tax. Finally, the bill included the House-passed SECURE Act of 2019, which expands access to retirement plans for millions of workers and increases retirement security for both savers and employers. SECURE improves retirement security by expanding Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) to make it easier for small employers to sponsor a single retirement plan for their workers. SECURE creates new rules for employers that offer lifetime-income arrangements to workers in their retirement plans. In addition, the SECURE Act expands the portability of retirement plan assets, including annuities, allowing workers to keep their retirement savings when they change jobs throughout their career. The bill also encourages employees to increase their retirement savings annually through automatic increases in their 401 (k) plans. The SECURE Act also expands 529 plans for registered apprenticeship programs – ABC’s push to expand towards industry programs was unfortunately blocked, though championed by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). The bill also included $175 million in funding to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities, an increase of $15 million from 2019.