Last week, the New Jersey Senate ended its legislative recess. This procedural move forces Gov. Chris Christie (R) to sign or veto legislation in the next couple of days that would greatly expand the ability of public entities to require contractors to sign wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs) as a condition of performing construction work on Hurricane Sandy relief projects.
The Democrat-controlled New Jersey Legislature passed this bill, S. 2425, shortly after the federal government approved legislation to appropriate approximately $60 billion in federal funds to Sandy relief projects.
Check out our earlier post here for a comprehensive look at the politics behind this bill. Also, see our coverage of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial blasting potential PLA mandates on Sandy relief work.
TheTruthAboutPLAs.com and merit shop contracting community strongly urge Gov. Christie to veto this bill. PLA mandates on Sandy relief projects would strongly limit the ability of the vast majority of the construction workforce to compete for recovery projects in their own communities.
In addition, this legislation would lead to billions in wasted federal tax dollars. For example, research conducted by the New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development show that New Jersey PLA mandates increased construction costs by an average of 30 percent. In other words, if signed into law, this bill would needlessly increase costs and authorize a multi-billion dollar taxpayer-funded handout to the construction labor unions favored in typical PLAs.
During the 2009 campaign, Gov. Christie said he would eliminate PLA mandates in New Jersey.
I will eliminate special interest labor union giveaways that increase spending and taxes by ending the use of project labor agreements, which drive up the cost of public construction projects and fail to deliver a public benefit at a time when the economy is shedding jobs and taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet.
Let’s hope he upholds his pledge to oppose government-mandated PLAs and vetoes S. 2425.
There is still time to tell Gov. Christie to veto this legislation. Here is how you can make a difference:
- Click here to email the governor and tell him to veto this bill.
- Get the word out through your social networks. Use the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn icons below to make sure your friends and colleagues know about this critical issue for the merit shop construction industry.
- For Twitter fantatics, write Gov. Christie directly on twitter (@GovChristie) and tell him to veto Sen. Sweeney’s bill, S. 2425.
It’s time for the entire construction industry and all politicians to create the conditions to rebuild New Jersey safely, ethically and at the best possible price and value for taxpayers.
Learn more about the New Jersey politics behind the passage of S. 2425 here:
- PolitickerNJ.com, Sources: Sweeney leans on Oliver to get his version of PLA bill done in the Assembly, 2/11/13
- NJBiz.com, Industry cool to Sweeney bill revising labor agreements, 2/4/13
- RedState.com, Valentine’s Day Massacre? NJ Dems Take Aim At Gun Owners & Non-Union Construction Workers, 2/12/13
- Asbury Park Press, Uneasy times for Dems facing Christie juggernaut, 1/16/13
- NJ.com, N.J. Senate passes bill regarding hiring contractors in wake of Hurricane Sandy, 1/14/13