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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 22, 2017 03:43 PM
From: Representative Stephen Bloom
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Discriminatory Project Labor Agreements (Previously HB 2096 of 2013-14 Session)

I will be re-introducing legislation (previous HB 2096 of 2013-14 Session) prohibiting discriminatory project labor agreements. One of the ongoing duties of government is to improve efficiency in public construction projects, to preserve taxpayer resources. This can better be accomplished if we encourage open competition among potential contractors. In accordance with this goal, I will be introducing legislation known as the Open Contracting Act, barring the use of Project Labor Agreements on taxpayer-funded projects.

Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) include labor terms and conditions for construction projects, often incorporating terms from collective bargaining agreements of unions to be involved in the project. By limiting bidders and abiding by inefficient rules, PLAs drive up costs on projects. I believe they also discriminate against merit shop contractors and other businesses. Over 80 percent of our construction industry workers belong to nonunion shops. Since PLAs exclude local nonunion workers, PLAs discourage local hiring and job creation. In construction markets where the demand for union labor is greater than the local supply, union workers from outside the local area are given preference over qualified local nonunion workers on PLA projects.

This legislation establishes a freestanding act known as the “Open Contracting Act” and prohibits the use of PLAs on public construction projects. In addition, under the act, it is an unlawful practice for a public body to consider the union/nonunion status of an employer’s workforce in its selection criterion for awarding a public project.

I hope you will consider joining me in support of this legislation.

2013-14 Session cosponsors include:
M. K. Keller, Dunbar, Saylor, R. Miller, Aument, Saccone, Kauffman, Lucas, Tallman, Marsico, Truitt, Delozier, Benninghoff, Swanger, Causer, Grove, Cutler, Mentzer, Hickernell, Denlinger, Moul, Roae, Knowles, Rapp, Metcalfe, Lawrence, Everett, Cox, Milne and Regan

Introduced as HB1849