The nationwide effort to ban wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreement (PLA) mandates took a step forward yesterday, as lawmakers in the South Dakota and Alabama legislatures passed bills that guarantee fair and open competition for taxpayer-funded construction projects.
The Alabama House of Representatives approved H.B. 195, sponsored by Rep. Mack Butler (R), with bipartisan support. The bill passed 74 to 18, with nearly a quarter of the House Democratic caucus joining their Republican colleagues to support the bill.
Lawmakers in the South Dakota House of Representatives also passed PLA reform legislation by a wide margin. House Bill 1212, sponsored by Rep. Steve Westra, passed by a 52 to 17 party-line vote.
Both bills now move on for consideration in each state’s senate.
If enacted, these two states would join the 18 others with PLA reform laws or executive orders in place that protect taxpayers and the vast majority of the construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor organization. Fourteen of these states adopted their PLA reform law or executive order after President Barack Obama (D) issued Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on federal projects costing more than $25 million. In addition, the Obama order requires the executive branch of the federal government to develop a policy for expanding the use of PLA mandates on federally assisted construction projects and federal projects that cost less than $25 million.