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From the category archives: State/Local News

New Study Finds NY’s Prevailing Wage Increases Cost of Public Construction by Up to 25%

A new report released by the Empire Center for Public Policy on April 24 found that prevailing wage requirements inflate the cost of publicly funded construction projects in New York by between 13 percent and 25 percent. The varying percentages are based on the area or region of the state. Taxpayers can expect to pay billions in extra costs, given the tens of billions the state plans to spend on public projects over the next five to 10 years.   Read the rest of entry »

Arkansas Repeals State Prevailing Wage Law

On April 7, Arkansas Gov.Asa Hutchinson signed a bill repealing the state’s prevailing wage law. The legislation, SB 601 (Act 1068), was approved by the Arkansas House of Representatives on March 30 by a vote of 70-24; the Arkansas Senate passed the bill on March 21 by a bipartisan vote of 28-5. Arkansas is now the 22nd state without a prevailing wage and the second state to take significant action on the issue this year. Kentucky signed a prevailing wage repeal bill into law in January. In 2015, Nevada made significant reforms to its prevailing wage law, while Indiana and West Virginia joined the list of states without a prevailing wage.  Read the rest of entry »

Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen Order on PLA Neutrality

ABC thanked Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad for signing legislation into law to ensure the government cannot mandate PLAs on public construction projects. The bill, SF 438, codifies Gov. Branstad’s previous executive order, which prevented state and local governments procuring state and state-assisted construction projects from encouraging or prohibiting PLAs in contract solicitations, preventing a future governor from mandating PLAs through executive order. It also extends government neutrality toward PLAs to projects funded by local governments.  Read the rest of entry »

Wisconsin Becomes the 23rd State to Ban PLA Mandates

ABC applauded Gov. Scott Walker for signing Act 3, which will promote fair and open competition on contracts for construction services funded by Wisconsin taxpayers, at event at an ABC member jobsite. The act will ensure that the government cannot mandate controversial project labor agreements (PLAs) on state, state-assisted and local construction projects and that merit shop contractors can compete for projects funded by their own tax dollars on a level playing field.
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OFCCP Announces 2017 Veterans Hiring Benchmark for Federal Contractors

On March 31, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) updated its Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act Benchmark Database to reflect a new hiring benchmark of 6.7 percent.  The new benchmark is slightly lower than the previous year’s benchmark of 6.9 percent.  Read the rest of entry »

2017 Craft Professional of the Year Receives Ram Truck

Adam Ruff of Ely, Iowa, field supervisor at Price Electric, received a brand-new 2017 Ram Tradesman Crew Cab truck from Pat McGrath Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in March. The truck is one of the prizes awarded to the 2017 ABC Craft Professional of the Year, which is presented annually to a construction craft professional who excels in his or her field while also demonstrating a commitment to safety, training and the merit shop philosophy each year. Ruff received the honor at ABC’s Careers in Construction awards ceremony on March 3 during ABC’s Workforce Week ’17. The truck is paid for by the award’s exclusive sponsor, Tradesmen International, with custom upgrades donated by ABC business partner Ram Commercial.
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Iowa Construction Supervisor Named ABC Craft Professional of the Year

ABC has named Adam Ruff of Ely, Iowa, field supervisor at Price Electric, its 2017 Craft Professional of the Year. Ruff received the honor at ABC’s Careers in Construction awards ceremony on March 3 during ABC’s Workforce Week ’17 conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Read the rest of entry »

Legislation to ban PLA Mandates Introduced in U.S. Senate

ABC today voiced its strong support for the Fair and Open Competition Act (S. 622). The bill, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), will reduce costs for taxpayers by encouraging all qualified construction companies to compete for federal and federally funded construction projects. S. 622 prevents federal agencies and recipients of federal funding from requiring contractors to sign controversial project labor agreements (PLAs) as a condition of winning federal or federally assisted construction contracts. 

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Wisconsin Legislature Approves Bill Banning PLA Mandates

On March 9, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved SB3, which prohibits government-mandated project agreements (PLA) on state and local construction contracts.  The Assembly voted 64-25 to concur on the bill, following the Wisconsin State Senate’s passage of the measure by a vote of 19-13  in February. Both votes occurred along party lines.  
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House Passes Legislation to Block OSHA’s “Volks” Rule

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to block implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Volks” final rule through the Congressional Review Act. The bill (H. J. Res. 83) was passed in a bi-partisan vote of 231-191. Read the rest of entry »