Legislation to ban government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) in Georgia is poised to be considered by the state Senate this week, before the legislature adjourns for 2013. This legislation could block a potential PLA mandate on the construction of the new Atlanta Falcons’ stadium.
Despite a setback earlier in the legislative session, the PLA reform language was added to S.B. 179 by the House Judiciary Committee on March 14 and the House passed the bill by a wide margin on March 21.
The business community and proponents of fair and open competition are now urging Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) and Senate leadership to allow the Senate to have an up or down vote on whether to accept the House’s changes before the General Assembly adjourns on March 28.
The language now included in S.B. 179 would guarantee that the 96 percent of Georgia’s construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor organization will have the opportunity to work on the potential Falcons’ stadium project and all others funded by their own tax dollars.
The language also will help ensure taxpayers get the best construction at the best price. PLA and other union-only mandates have been found to increase construction costs by an average of 12-18 percent—and much more in some cases. Additionally, the numerous examples of stadium projects subject to unnecessary PLA requirements gone bad show these mandates do not ensure a local workforce, quality construction, cost savings or on-time delivery.
In response to the rising threat of PLA mandates – in large part a result of an executive order eliminating a ban on government-mandated PLAs on federally assisted projects and encouraging them on federal projects costing more than $25 million – 14 states have banned PLA mandates on taxpayer-funded construction projects in their states to some degree.
In most of those states, these statutes are very similar to the open competition language now included in S.B. 179.
We strongly encourage Georgia legislators to stand up for open competition, fairness in construction and the vast majority of our industry that chooses not to join a labor organization.
Once this bill passes the General Assembly, we hope Gov. Nathan Deal (R) will do the right thing and sign this bill into law.
Here at TheTruthAboutPLAs.com, we hope the open competition language will move through the legislative process and become law as soon as possible.