Governor's Signatures Cap Strong Legislative Year for Building Trades

October 1, 2012 - The Building Trades’ legislative agenda for 2012 focused on getting our people back to work, and increasing union workers’ market share of new construction jobs. We shepherded a package of bills to achieve those goals through the Legislature. Governor Jerry Brown has signed most of the bills. However, due to the ongoing budget uncertainty, he did veto some bills that we hoped would enable local governments to replace dissolved Redevelopment Agencies as mechanisms for funding job-creating infrastructure projects. This outcome increases the urgency of passing the Governor’s revenue measure, Proposition 30, at the polls in November.

Here are the most important bills, sponsored or supported by the Building Trades, to receive the Governor’s signature.

AB 1446 (Feuer) Enables local and regional agencies to accelerate transportation infrastructure projects in Los Angeles County, creating an estimated 166,000 Building Trades jobs in the region, by allowing the MTA to extend a local tax subject to voter approval.

AB 1565 (Fuentes) Weeds out bad contractors by requiring school districts to prequalify all general, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing contractors on state-funded school projects costing over $1 million.

AB 2219 (Knight) Helps identify bad roofing contractors by eliminating the sunset date on a law that requires roofers to maintain workers compensation insurance, even if the contractor lacks employees.

AB 2580 (Furutani) Increases contractor accountability on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) bidding procedure, and extends the sunset for its use.

AB 2677 (Swanson) Enhances workers’ health and pension funds by clarifying that increased contributions set forth in a collective bargaining agreement are not a violation of Prevailing Wage.

SB 1128 (Padilla) Enhances the green energy technology manufacturing industry by adding “advanced manufacturing” to the sales and use tax financing program to help increase California based manufacturing.

SB 1509 (Simitian) Extends the authorization for school and community college districts to use design build construction through 2020. It encourages PLA use by allowing a Prevailing Wage enforcement fee to be waived if a PLA applies to a project.

Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed three bills that would have provided tax increment financing for local infrastructure projects: SB 214 (Wolk), AB 2144 (Speaker Perez), and SB 1156 (President pro tem Steinberg). The governor stated that given the continued budget uncertainty, and in light of the ongoing dissolution of redevelopment agencies, he could not yet support this legislation. This illustrates the urgency of passing Proposition 30, to provide more revenue for public works construction, and to set the stage for passing new school and water bonds in 2014.

 

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