On Tuesday, 3/28, the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on anti-prevailing wage bill SB 601. The measure would repeal the state’s prevailing wage statute.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee is still considering California Building and Construction Trades Council-supported bill AB 199. This bill would increase the prevailing wage requirements in the state by requiring employers to pay workers the “prevailing wage” on new privately constructed residential housing. This provision extends the requirement beyond the redevelopment agencies, public agencies and low-income housing projects covered under existing state law.
Democratic Governor Malloy proposed raising prevailing wage thresholds from $100,000 to $500,000 for remodeling work, and from $400,000 to $1 million for new construction. The Governor’s attack on prevailing wage is included in SB 793; the Joint Committee on Planning and Development held a hearing last month on SB 793. The Labor and Public Employees Committee held a hearing on a similar bill introduced by Republican members of the House (HB 6211) last month as well. While these bills were not reported out of Committee they are still possible amendments to the budget bill or potential executive orders by the governor. The council is doing bi-partisan outreach to ensure they have the votes to defeat this effort if it does reappear.
House Committee on Labor and Public Employment passed SB 1105 this week and the bill was referred to the House Finance Committee. According to the Hawaii Construction Alliance, the bill would promote affordable housing options and would enforce the terms of collective bargaining agreements and the state’s prevailing wage statute. In the Senate, the Committee on Housing passed companion bill HB 1179 this week and moved the bill to the Senate Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means Committees for consideration.
Anti-Project Labor Agreement bill SF 438 was passed by the House Labor Committee this week and is now floor eligible in the House. Provisions within the measure would prohibit the use of PLAs on all public construction projects.
The legislature sent HF 203 to the Governor for consideration this week. The bill would allow the state’s Transportation Commission to “exchange” federal funds designated for public road construction projects for state taxpayer funds. This exchange would allow the state to bypass federal regulations such as prevailing wage and Buy American requirements attached to the use of federal funds. The legislation has already passed the Senate.
The House Labor Committee passed workers’ compensation insurance reform bill HB 2525 this week. the bill would provide employers with a compensation insurance rate reduction if they have a bona fide safety and return to work program in place. It also allows for penalties on an employer when they don’t authorize medical treatment for an injured worker. The bill would also require transparency for employers that are self-insured, requiring them to report the financial losses they have due to injuries on the job.
HB 296 remains before the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee. This bill “would prevent workers from making claims on injuries caused by repeated manual labor five years after they stopped doing the work”, and would prohibit workers from receiving workers’ compensation benefits after they are 70 years old. The bill would have beneficiaries enroll in Medicare, “shifting the financial burden from insurers and businesses to taxpayers.”
Three bills that would repeal the state’s 51-year-old prevailing wage laws (SB 1, SB 2, SB 3) remain in front of the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee. The Senate approved similar legislation in 2016, but the House and Gov. Snyder opposed repeal, and the measure failed. In 2015, a citizens’ initiative was created to place the question of repeal on the November 2016 General Election ballot, but the petition drive failed when the out-of-state petition-circulators company was unable to collect the required amount of valid signatures. The Michigan building trades continue to engage in bi-partisan outreach to members of the state legislature and the governor to continue to push back on efforts to undermine prevailing wage and speak to the value of registered apprenticeship.
The Missouri legislature has seen several versions of prevailing wage repeal bills, the session ends in mid-May. None of the bills have been sent to the Governor.
The House Economic Development Committee passed HB 133 and HB 476 this week. Both bills have been referred to the Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee. HB 133 would allow certain school districts to exempt themselves from prevailing wage requirements for school construction and maintenance, and HB 476 would repeal the prevailing wage in certain counties.
The following bills were referred to the House Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee after passage last week by the House Economic Development Committee:
The House Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee passed HB 104 earlier this month. The bill would repeal prevailing wage requirements on public works projects.
The following bills remain in the House Economic Development Committee:
Anti-PLA bill SB 182 was referred last week to the House Economic Development Committee. The Senate passed the bill last month.
The Senate General Laws Committee passed anti-prevailing wage bill SB 20 last month. The bill will be voted on by the Senate in a perfection vote next.
Anti-prevailing wage bill SB 29 remains before the Senate General Laws Committee.
SB 72 is currently under consideration in the Finance Committee. This bill would allow local municipalities (for villages, townships, cities, counties, universities and specialty districts) to opt out of paying the prevailing wage on taxpayer funded public construction projects, was introduced this week. Sen. Matt Huffman is the sponsor and received only 2 co-sponsors; assigned to Senate Finance Committee – building trades strongest committee in the Senate.
HB 163 – companion bill to SB 72 (introduced today) – 32 Rs on the bill as sponsors – not a priority for House leadership – extremely unlikely to get an additional 18 to support; likely to die in committee.
Unemployment Compensation: we stopped HB 620 in Lame Duck, forcing Chamber and Manufacturers to work with us on compromise; we agreed to jointly fund an independent actuary to run various scenarios; meeting next Wednesday to go over first set of actuary responses; so far so good.
Nothing yet on public sector PLAs;
No real movement on public or private sector RTW bills; nothing yet in West Chester Township on local RTW.
Just finalized comprehensive PW study this afternoon with Dr. Kevin Duncan.
On Monday, 3/27, The Senate Workforce Committee will hold a work session on prevailing wage bill SB 416. The bill would prohibit public agencies and employers who are affiliated with a public construction from dividing public works project into more than one contract to avoid prevailing wage rate laws.
Public sector right to work bill HB 53 was introduced last month. This bill, which has been referred to the House Finance Committee, would also eliminate exclusive representation, prohibiting the union from representing anyone other than those who are members.
Pennsylvania — The Senate returns on Monday, 3/27; the House will reconvene on Monday, 4/3.
No action has been taken on either the prevailing wage bills that were introduced or right to work efforts in the PA House or Senate.
HB648, SB452 These bills would eliminate project labor agreements on public projects. HB648 pending on House Economic & Small Business Development Committee. SB452 placed on Senate Intent calendar.
Virginia — The Virginia legislature ended its legislative session for 2017 on 2/25.
The legislature sent HB 1753 to the Governor last week. The Governor had until 3/27 to take action on HB 1753, which would preempt local governments from establishing wage and benefit requirements for procurement of goods, services or construction. The Governor vetoed this bill.
This week, the Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee held a hearing on prevailing wage bill HB 1674, but did not take immediate action on the bill. The legislation would require the state Department of Labor and Industries to establish the prevailing rate of wage using collective bargaining agreements.
The Assembly passed anti-PLA bills SB 3 last week. This bill would prohibit state and municipal governments from engaging in certain activities related to Project Labor Agreements. The bill will be sent to Governor Walker, who included it in his budget proposal.