GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AGC Claims Legislative Successes in 2014
By Dave Ackerman As usual, the Legislature wrapped up
business at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday morn- ing on the last weekend of session, adjourn- ing until December 1 when the new 2015- 16 Legislature is sworn into office. Most notable in the last hours of the leg-
islative session was the defeat of AB 2416, which would have allowed employees to place liens on the personal property of their employers. Following an all-out opposition lobbying effort that included AGC grass- roots contact with key legislators, only 13 senators voted for the bill when it needed 21 votes for passage. AGC’s focus on the business-friendly democrats in the Senate paid off when all of our targeted democrats joined with Republican senators to kill the bill. This legislation was the number one priority for the public employee unions and the AFL-CIO.
Passage of AGC-Sponsored Bills Other highlights include passage of two of AGC’s sponsored bills that were signed
into law by the Governor. AB 1939 by As- semblyman Tom Daly protects contractors from prevailing wage claims on private work. SB 785 by Senator Lois Wolk con- forms state and local design-build statutes into a single statute, eliminating confusion for both contractors and public agencies. AGC also worked to guarantee an ad-
ditional $700 million for street and road construction in the state transportation budget; secure protections for contractors as the Department of Industrial Relations implements a new registration program for public works contractors; and initiate en- hanced worker safety measures in highway construction work zones. AGC successfully
of the state $7.6 billion water bond that is Proposition 1 on the November ballot and supported the first step towards replacing the gas tax with a road user charge. On the defensive side, in addition to the
defeat of AB 2416, AGC successfully op- posed legislation that would have increased local agency “force account” limits; legisla- tion that would have taken steps to create a
Still Using Paper Time Cards in 2014?
“split roll” property tax; and a proposed state takeover of the surface mining recla- mation act. As a result of amendments, AGC was
able to remove opposition on legislation relating to development near or on tribal sacred sites; OSHA abatement process; and split roll property taxes. Only a couple of “bad” bills were passed
by the legislature and signed by the Gover- nor in spite of AGC and general business opposition. These provided for enhanced paid sick leave for employees and increased general contractor liability and responsibil- ity for subcontractors. Last minute legisla- tion requiring general contractors to use union painting contractors for metal cor- rosive work passed the legislature, but was vetoed by the Governor.
Held Over A few bills supported by AGC were “left
on the cutting room floor” and may be pur- sued next session. They include: 2014 State School Bond (carried by Assembly member Joan Buchanan) – Opposition from the Governor to have multiple bond measures on the Novem- ber ballot doomed this measure.
Prompt Payment On Change Or- ders (sponsored by United Contrac- tors) – Strong opposition from local government resulted in unacceptable amendments beings made to the bill, resulting in the bill being dropped until next year.
CM/GC Authority for local transpor- tation agencies (sponsored by Trans- portation California) was held in the Senate Transportation Committee and will be reintroduced in 2015.
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AGC’s sponsored legislation to allow a contractor to post a bond in- stead of cash with DIR involving a pre- vailing wage claim was held in the As- sembly Fiscal Committee based on a high cost estimate from DIR and will be pursued again in 2015. Overall, it was a successful legislative
year for AGC, and through AGC’s efforts the construction industry was able to en- gage in a wide variety of issues that impact both building and engineering contractors alike.
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