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H.R.3395 - Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2011
To enable concrete masonry products manufacturers and importers to establish, finance, and carry out a coordinated program of research, education, and promotion to improve, maintain, and develop markets for concrete masonry products.
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To enable concrete masonry products manufacturers and importers to establish, finance, and carry out a coordinated program of research, education, and promotion to improve, maintain, and develop markets for concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Mr. SHIMKUS (for himself and Ms. BALDWIN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
To enable concrete masonry products manufacturers and importers to establish, finance, and carry out a coordinated program of research, education, and promotion to improve, maintain, and develop markets for concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY.
(3) Concrete masonry products move in the channels of interstate and foreign commerce, and concrete masonry products that do not move in such channels of commerce directly burden or affect interstate commerce of concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) The maintenance and expansion of existing markets for concrete masonry products and the development of new markets is vital to the welfare of concrete manufacturers in the United States and those concerned with marketing and using concrete masonry products as well as the general economic welfare of the Nation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) The concrete masonry products industry plays a vital role in providing safe, environmentally sustainable, and economical construction for citizens of the United States and abroad. Concrete masonry products are used for the construction of structures that protect and provide shelter for citizens during disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, fire, etc.). Concrete masonry structures provide energy efficiencies to reduce American energy demands. Concrete masonry provides for durable structures that support sustainability objectives, reducing long-term demands on natural resources. Concrete masonry products are made using locally available resources throughout the United States, reducing transportation and infrastructure demands. Concrete masonry products are used to support the construction of durable and cost-efficient, low-income housing.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to authorize the establishment of an orderly program for developing, financing, and carrying out an effective, continuous, and coordinated program of research, education, and promotion, including funds for marketing and market research activities, that is designed to--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Limitation- Nothing in this Act may be construed to provide for the control of production or otherwise limit the right of any person to manufacture or import concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
(c) Cavity- The term ‘cavity’ means the open space in the mold of a block machine capable of forming a single concrete masonry unit having nominal plan dimensions of 8 inches by 16 inches.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Concrete Masonry Products- The term ‘concrete masonry products’ refers to a broader class of products, including concrete masonry units as well as hardscape products such as concrete pavers and segmental retaining wall units, manufactured on a block machine using dry-cast concrete.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Concrete Masonry Unit- The term ‘concrete masonry unit’ means a concrete masonry product that is a manmade masonry unit having an actual width of 3 inches or greater and manufactured from dry-cast concrete using a block machine. Such term includes concrete block and related concrete units used in masonry applications.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) Dry-Cast Concrete- The term ‘dry-cast concrete’ means a composite material that is composed essentially of aggregates embedded in a binding medium composed of a mixture of cementitious materials (including hydraulic cement, pozzolans, or other cementitious materials) and water of such a consistency to maintain its shape after forming in a block machine.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(j) Education- The term ‘education’ means programs that will educate or communicate the benefits of concrete masonry products in safe and environmentally sustainable development, advancements in concrete masonry product technology and development, and other information and programs designed to generate increased demand for commercial, residential, multi-family, and institutional projects using concrete masonry products and to generally enhance the image of concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(m) Machine Cavities in Operation- The term ‘machine cavities in operation’ means those machine cavities associated with a block machine that have produced concrete masonry units within the last six months of the date set for determining eligibility and is fully operable and capable of producing concrete masonry units.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(n) Masonry Unit- The term ‘masonry unit’ means a noncombustible building product intended to be laid by hand or joined using mortar, grout, surface bonding, post-tensioning or some combination of these methods.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(r) Promotion- The term ‘promotion’ means any action, including paid advertising, to advance the image and desirability of concrete masonry products with the express intent of improving the competitive position and stimulating sales of concrete masonry products in the marketplace.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(s) Research- The term ‘research’ means studies testing the effectiveness of market development and promotion efforts, studies relating to the improvement of concrete masonry products and new product development, and studies documenting the performance of concrete masonry.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. ISSUANCE OF ORDERS.
(2) PUBLICATION OF PROPOSED ORDER- Not later than 60 days after receiving a proposed order or a request for a proposed order in accordance with subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall publish a proposed order in the Federal Register and give 30 days notice and opportunity for public comment on the proposed order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- After notice and opportunity for public comment are provided in accordance with paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue the order, taking into consideration the comments received and including in the order such provisions as are necessary to ensure that the order is in conformity with this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) EFFECTIVE DATE- The order shall be issued and become effective only after an affirmative vote in a referendum as provided in section 7, but not later than 120 days after publication of the proposed order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Amendments- The Secretary may, from time to time, amend an order. The provisions of this Act applicable to an order shall be applicable to any amendment to an order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. REQUIRED TERMS IN ORDERS.
(A) ESTABLISHMENT- The order shall provide for the establishment of a Concrete Masonry Products Board (referred to in this Act as the ‘Board’) to carry out a program of generic promotion, research, and information regarding concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iii) COMPOSITION- The Board shall consist of manufacturers. If imports of concrete masonry products are subject to assessment under the order, the Secretary shall also appoint importers as members of the Board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) GEOGRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION- To ensure fair and equitable representation of the concrete masonry products industry, the composition of the Board shall reflect the geographical distribution of the manufacture of concrete masonry products in the United States, the types of concrete masonry products manufactured, and the quantity or value of the concrete masonry products imported into the United States, if imports of concrete masonry products are covered under the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) ADJUSTMENT IN BOARD REPRESENTATION- Three years after the assessment of concrete masonry products commences pursuant to an order, and at the end of each three-year period thereafter, the Board, subject to the review and approval of the Secretary, shall, if warranted, recommend to the Secretary the reapportionment of the Board membership to reflect changes in the geographical distribution of the manufacture of concrete masonry products, the types of concrete masonry products manufactured, and the quantity or value of imported concrete masonry products.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) PROCEDURE- Nominations for each appointment of a manufacturer or an importer shall be made by manufacturers or importers, respectively, in accordance with procedures specified in the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) FAILURE TO NOMINATE- In any case in which manufacturers or importers fail to nominate individuals for an appointment to the Board, the Secretary may appoint an individual to fill the vacancy on a basis provided in the order or other regulations of the Secretary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) FAILURE TO APPOINT- If the Secretary fails to make an appointment to the Board within 30 days of receiving nominations for such appointment, the first nominee for such appointment shall be deemed appointed.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- The members and any alternates of the Board shall each serve for a term of three years, except that members and any alternates initially appointed to the Board shall serve for terms of not more than two, three, and four years, as specified by the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) VACANCIES- A vacancy arising before the expiration of a term of office of an incumbent member or alternate of the Board shall be filled in a manner provided for in the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) DISQUALIFICATION FROM BOARD SERVICE- The order shall provide that if a member or alternate of the Board who was appointed as a manufacturer or importer ceases to qualify as a manufacturer or importer, respectively, such member or alternate shall be disqualified from serving on the Board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) TRAVEL EXPENSES- If approved by the Board, members or alternates shall be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses, which may include per diem allowance or actual subsistence incurred while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) to develop and recommend to the Secretary for approval such bylaws as may be necessary for the functioning of the Board and such rules as may be necessary to administer the order, including activities authorized to be carried out under the order;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) to prepare and submit for the approval of the Secretary, before the beginning of each fiscal year, rates of assessment under section 6 and an annual budget of the anticipated expenses to be incurred in the administration of the order, including the probable cost of each promotion, research, and information activity proposed to be developed or carried out by the Board;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) to carry out research, education, and promotion programs and projects, and to pay the costs of such programs and projects with assessments collected under section 6;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(10) subject to subsection (e), to enter into contracts or agreements to develop and carry out programs or projects of research, education, and promotion relating to concrete masonry products;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) SUBMISSION- The order shall require the Board to submit to the Secretary for approval a budget of the anticipated expenses and disbursements of the Board in the implementation of the order, including the projected costs of concrete masonry products research, education, and promotion programs and projects.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) INCURRING EXPENSES- A board may incur the expenses described in paragraph (2) and other expenses for the administration, maintenance, and functioning of the Board as authorized by the Secretary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) PAYMENT OF EXPENSES- Expenses incurred under subparagraph (A) shall be paid by the Board using assessments collected under section 6, earnings obtained from assessments, and other income of the Board. Any funds borrowed by the Board shall be expended only for startup costs and capital outlays.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) LIMITATION ON SPENDING- For fiscal years beginning three or more years after the date of establishment of the Board, the Board may not expend for administration (except for reimbursement to the Secretary required under subparagraph (D)), maintenance, and functioning of the Board in a fiscal year an amount that exceeds 10 percent of the assessment and other income received by the Board for the fiscal year.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) REIMBURSEMENT OF SECRETARY- The order shall require that the Secretary be reimbursed from assessments for all expenses incurred by the Secretary in the implementation, administration, and supervision of the order, including all referenda costs incurred in connection with the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) enter into contracts and agreements to carry programs and projects of research, education, and promotion activities relating to concrete masonry products, including contracts and agreements with manufacturer associations or other entities as considered appropriate by the Secretary;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) pay the cost of approved research, education, and promotion programs and projects using assessments collected under section 6, earnings obtained from assessments, and other income of the Board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) FAILURE TO APPROVE- If the Secretary fails to approve or reject a contract or agreement entered into under paragraph (1) within 30 days of receipt, the contract or agreement shall be deemed approved.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) the communication to appropriate government officials of information relating to the conduct, implementation, or results of research, education, and promotion activities under the order; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(h) Periodic Evaluation- The order shall require the Board to provide for the independent evaluation of all research, education, and promotion activities undertaken under the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) make the records described in subparagraph (A) available, during normal business hours, for inspection by employees or agents of the Board or the Department, including any records necessary to verify information required under subparagraph (B).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided in this Act, all information obtained under paragraph (1) or as part of a referendum under section 7 shall be kept confidential by all officers, employees, and agents of the Department and of the Board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(ii) the information is revealed in a judicial proceeding or administrative hearing brought at the direction or on the request of the Secretary or to which the Secretary or any officer of the Department is a party.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) the issuance of general statements based on reports or on information relating to a number of persons subject to an order if the statements do not identify the information furnished by any person; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(ii) the publication, by direction of the Secretary, of the name of any person violating any order and a statement of the particular provisions of the order violated by the person.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. ASSESSMENTS.
(1) MANUFACTURERS- The order shall provide that assessments shall be paid by manufacturers with respect to concrete masonry products manufactured and marketed in the United States.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) MANUFACTURERS- Except as provided in paragraph (2), assessments required under the order shall be remitted by the manufacturer to the Board in the manner prescribed by the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) IMPORTERS- An assessment on imported concrete masonry products shall be paid by the importer to Customs at the time of entry into the United States and shall be remitted by Customs to the Board in the manner prescribed by the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) RECORDS- As part of the remittance of assessments, manufacturers shall identify the total amount due in assessments on all sales receipts, invoices or other commercial documents of sale as a result of the sale of concrete masonry units in a manner as prescribed by the Board to ensure compliance with the order.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) AUTHORITY TO CHANGE RATE- The Board shall have the authority to change the assessment rate. A two-thirds majority of voting members of the Board shall be required to approve a change in the assessment rate.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) LIMITATION ON INCREASES- An increase or decrease in the assessment rate with respect to concrete masonry products may not exceed $0.01 per concrete masonry unit sold.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Investment of Assessments- Pending disbursement of assessments under a budget approved by the Secretary, a board may invest assessments collected under this section in--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The order shall provide that no less than 50 percent of the assessments (less administration expenses) paid by a manufacturer shall be used to support research, education and promotion plans and projects in support of the geographic region of the manufacturer.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) Region I shall comprise Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) ADJUSTMENT OF GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS- The order shall provide that the Secretary may, upon recommendation of the Board, modify the composition of the geographic regions described in paragraph (2).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 7. REFERENDA.
(1) REFERENDUM REQUIRED- During the 60-day period immediately preceding the proposed effective date of the order issued under section 4, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among manufacturers and importers required to pay assessments under the order, as provided in section 6.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) APPROVAL OF ORDER NEEDED- The order shall become effective only if the Secretary determines that the order has been approved by a simple majority of all votes cast in the referendum.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) MANUFACTURERS- Each manufacturer eligible to vote in a referendum conducted under this section shall be entitled to cast one vote for each machine cavity in operation that is operated by such manufacturer if they satisfy the eligibility requirements as defined in paragraph (3).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) IMPORTERS- Each importer eligible to vote in a referendum conducted under this section shall be entitled to cast one vote if they satisfy the eligibility requirements as defined in paragraph (3).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) ELIGIBILITY- For purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2), manufacturers and importers shall be considered to be eligible to vote if they have manufactured or imported concrete masonry products during a period of at least six months prior to the referendum.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) ADVANCE REGISTRATION- A manufacturer or importer who chooses to vote in any referendum conducted under this section shall register with the Secretary prior to the voting period, after receiving notice from the Secretary concerning the referendum under paragraph (4).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) VOTING- The Secretary shall establish procedures for voting in any referendum conducted under this section. The ballots and other information or reports that reveal or tend to reveal the identity or vote of voters shall be strictly confidential.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) NOTICE- Not later than 30 days before a referendum is conducted under this section with respect to an order, the Secretary shall notify all manufacturers and importers, in such a manner as determined by the Secretary, of the period during which voting in the referendum will occur. The notice shall explain any registration and voting procedures established under this subsection.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) at the request of the Board, subject to the voting requirements of subsections (b) and (c), to ascertain whether eligible manufacturers and importers favor suspension, termination, or continuance of the order; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) effective beginning on the date that is 5 years after the date of the approval of the order, and at 5-year intervals thereafter, at the request of 25 percent or more of the number of persons eligible to vote under subsection (b).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Suspension or Termination- If, as a result of a referendum conducted under subsection (d), the Secretary determines that suspension or termination of the order is favored by a simple majority of all votes cast in the referendum, the Secretary shall--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Costs of Referenda- The Board established under an order with respect to which a referendum is conducted under this section shall reimburse the Secretary from assessments for any expenses incurred by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. PETITION AND REVIEW.
(4) LIMITATION ON PETITION- Any petition filed under this subsection challenging an order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order, shall be filed within 2 years after the effective date of the order, provision, or obligation subject to challenge in the petition.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION- The district courts of the United States in any district in which a person who is a petitioner under subsection (a) resides or conducts business shall have jurisdiction to review the ruling of the Secretary on the petition of the person, if a complaint requesting the review is filed no later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling by the Secretary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) REMANDS- If the court in a proceeding under this subsection determines that the ruling of the Secretary on the petition of the person is not in accordance with law, the court shall remand the matter to the Secretary with directions--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Enforcement- The pendency of proceedings instituted under this section shall not impede, hinder, or delay the Attorney General or the Secretary from obtaining relief under section 9.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 9. ENFORCEMENT.
(a) Jurisdiction- A district court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from violating, this Act or an order or regulation issued by the Secretary under this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Referral to Attorney General- A civil action authorized to be brought under this section shall be referred to the Attorney General of the United States for appropriate action.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) CIVIL PENALTIES- A person who willfully violates an order or regulation issued by the Secretary under this Act may be assessed by the Secretary a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) SEPARATE OFFENSE- Each violation and each day during which there is a failure to comply with an order or regulation issued by the Secretary shall be considered to be a separate offense.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) CEASE-AND-DESIST ORDERS- In addition to, or in lieu of, a civil penalty, the Secretary may issue an order requiring a person to cease and desist from violating the order or regulation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) NOTICE AND HEARING- No order assessing a penalty or cease-and-desist order may be issued by the Secretary under this subsection unless the Secretary provides notice and an opportunity for a hearing on the record with respect to the violation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) FINALITY- An order assessing a penalty or a cease-and-desist order issued under this subsection by the Secretary shall be final and conclusive unless the person against whom the order is issued files an appeal from the order with the appropriate district court of the United States, as provided in subsection (d).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 10. INVESTIGATION AND POWER TO SUBPOENA.
(a) Investigations- The Secretary may conduct such investigations as the Secretary considers necessary for the effective administration of this Act, or to determine whether any person has engaged or is engaging in any act that constitutes a violation of this Act or any order or regulation issued under this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) INVESTIGATIONS- For the purpose of conducting an investigation under subsection (a), the Secretary may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel the attendance of witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The production of the records may be required from any place in the United States.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS- For the purpose of an administrative hearing held under section 8(a)(2) or section 9(c)(4), the presiding officer may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel the attendance of witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The attendance of witnesses and the production of the records may be required from any place in the United States.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- In the case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued under subsection (b) to, any person, the Secretary may invoke the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the investigation or proceeding is conducted, or where the person resides or conducts business, in order to enforce a subpoena issued under subsection (b).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) PROCESS- Process in any proceeding under this subsection may be served in the United States judicial district in which the person being proceeded against resides or conducts business, or wherever the person may be found.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 11. SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION.
(a) Mandatory Suspension or Termination- The Secretary shall suspend or terminate an order or a provision of an order if the Secretary finds that an order or provision of an order obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the purpose of this Act, or if the Secretary determines that the order or a provision of an order is not favored by persons voting in a referendum conducted under section 7.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Implementation of Suspension or Termination- If, as a result of a referendum conducted under section 7, the Secretary determines that the order is not approved, the Secretary shall--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink