2015 Legislation by Richard Markuson, CAPHCC Lobbyist

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2015 Legislation

February was the bill introduction deadline, the Assembly introduced 1,598 bills and the Senate – 852 bills – the lowest in recent memory. PHCC is evaluating about 50 bills that impact C36 contractors.

Assembly Member Jim Patterson introduced AB 842 – an ABC sponsored bill that provides that a contractor that bids on or has been awarded work covered by a project labor agreement that provides health care coverage to workers on the project that is the subject of the agreement, that includes essential health benefits, as described in the PPACA, and that provides evidence of that coverage to the entity awarding the contract, is exempt from a requirement to pay into a trust or custodial benefit plan for health and welfare or similar benefits for those workers.

Assembly Member Frazier has once again introduced legislation (AB 326) that would permit contractors to provide a bond, in lieu of cash, as an alternative to becoming automatically liable for liquidated damages in specified circumstances. Current law only allows for this payment to be in the form of cash. Last years effort stalled when the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DSLE) said the bill would lead to more Civil Wage and Penalty Assessment (CWPA) appeals. DIR estimated increased costs in the range of $600,000 to $900,000 related to the processing of appeals. This analysis is curious inasmuch as DIR issued a memorandum in 2009 which he stated that, in lieu of a cash deposit, a contractor may post a payment bond with DIR as long as the bond satisfied specified criteria. It was not clear if DIR had the authority to accept this form of payment so in 2013, when DIR revised its’ Public Works Manual, it deleted the prior references to payment to DIR in the form of a bond.

Assembly Member Gallagher is the author of AB 846 that would authorize a court to dismiss an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien for want of prosecution if service is not made within 6 months after commencement of the action.

AB 852 by Assembly Member Burke expands prevailing wage requirements to hospitals or health care facility projects when the project is paid for, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of conduit revenue bonds

Assembly Member Perea has introduced AB 1308 for the building trades. It makes it harder for new apprenticeship programs in the building trades by requiring a a sustained pattern of unfilled requests by a program to meet the “needs test.” It also deletes the authority of the CAC to approve a new apprenticeship program if special circumstances, as established by regulation, justify the establishment of the program.

Current law sets forth requirements for the use of a skilled and trained workforce of all workers that are either skilled journeypersons or registered apprentices to perform specified work on state agency design-build projects, local agency design-build projects, and at certain stationary sources posing a regulated substances accident risk. Senator Pat Bates has introduced SB 607 for WECA. It would deem an electrician certified pursuant to Labor Code §108 a skilled journeyperson for purposes of any law.

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