A Notice of Funding Opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s fiscal year 2023 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant program is set to close for applications on Feb. 28.
The RAISE grant program provides federal assistance to state and local government entities for the purpose of major surface transportation infrastructure projects. At least $2.275 billion in funding appropriated by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other funding sources is available.
However, the impact of this funding may be undermined by language in the NOFO that attempts to steer these funds toward applicants that require project labor agreements on their projects. The NOFO includes specific language indicating that PLAs will increase applicants’ scores for “Partnership and Collaboration,” improving their chance of receiving RAISE funds.
ABC has consistently and vigorously opposed government-mandated PLAs and PLA preferences on federal government and federally assisted construction projects, as well as state and local government infrastructure projects. PLAs needlessly increase costs, chill competition and steer hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of construction projects funded by taxpayers to well-connected special interests, i.e., construction unions and contractors signatory to specific construction unions party to a PLA.
Despite this, ABC has identified a significant number of Biden administration federal agency grants similar to the RAISE program––totaling more than $100 billion for infrastructure projects procured by state and local governments––subject to language and policies promoting PLA mandates and preferences that will increase costs and reduce competition on federally assisted construction projects. ABC will soon be launching a revamped website to effectively communicate the scope of projects impacted by these preferences.
For any questions or comments regarding PLA preferences in federal funding, please contact Michael Altman at [email protected].