Legislative Update by Richard Markuson, CAPHCC Lobbyist

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May 15th brought the latest Legislative Deadline requiring all Non-Fiscal Bills to have passed out of their policy committees. Last year, 285 Non-Fiscal Bills were still in their policy committees when this Deadline occurred and were marked dead. This year, 326 Non-Fiscal Bills didn’t make it out of their policy committees in time. They can’t be heard again until next year. 657 Fiscal Bills need to make it out of their Appropriations Committees by the 28th in order to remain active for the rest of this year. 164 Fiscal Bills failed this Deadline in 2014.

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The Assembly passed AB 566 (Oppose) by Assemblyman O’Donnell that requires school districts entering into school building lease contracts to use a skilled and trained workforce and comply with the requirement to prequalify and rate prospective bidders regardless of the source of funding. PHCC opposes the provision allowing an entity to show its commitment to hiring a skilled and trained workforce through a project labor agreement – no routine reporting will be required. Assemblyman Eric Linder (R-Corona) continues to break with his Republican colleagues in supporting these State Building and Construction Trades Council provisions.

The Assembly Democrats (and Mr. Linder) also approved AB 1308 (Oppose) by Assemblyman Perea that exacerbates the damaging aspects of the needs test by adding ambiguous language and deleting the very modest authority of the CAC to approve a new apprenticeship program “justified by special circumstances by regulation.” More union monopoly as opposed to fair and open competition and training opportunities for all.

Surprising no one, the Democratic members of the Assembly Labor Committee defeated ABC’s very reasonable AB 842 (Support) (Patterson) – buying the building trades’ line that the bill would “encourage a race to the bottom, rather than a level playing field for businesses that offer comprehensive health benefits to their employees and that do not depend on public subsidies.” AB 842 would have eliminated “double payments” for health care coverage of employees who are sent to work on PLA projects when the employee has employer-provided health coverage that meets the standard of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

AB 1185 (Oppose) by Assemblyman Ridley-Thomas creates a best value procurement pilot program for Los Angeles Unified School District. It differs from Senator Wolk’s SB 762 in a couple ways – it has different “safety language” and higher graduation requirements under the new “skilled workforce” rubric.

AB 54 (Olsen) (Support) – that would have given business a right to notice and repair before a lawsuit is filed under ADA – was stripped of its value in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now allows a modest tax credit for inspections by a certified access specialist (CASp).

Assembly Member Daly’s AB 219 (Oppose) that would expand prevailing wage to include the delivery of ready-mixed concrete has been sent to suspense. The analysis suggested the “bill may cause an increase in state and local government contract costs assuming contractors/subcontractors are not currently paying a prevailing wage to workers delivering concrete.”

The Assembly Utilities Committee passed Roger Hernández AB 853 (Oppose) on a party-line vote. The bill requires an electrical or gas corporation to utilize direct employees for any work associated with its infrastructure and computer systems. The Coalition of California Utility Employees sponsors the bill.

 

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