Gov. Sandoval signed legislation last week to make Nevada the 23rd state to restrict the ability of state and local government entities to implement wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreement (PLA) mandates on taxpayer funded construction projects.
Nevada is the 20th state to take action on the issue since President Barack Obama issued his executive order encouraging federal agencies to implement these mandates on large-scale construction projects.
The new Nevada statute will prohibit PLA mandates on nearly all state and local construction projects. In addition, it will prohibit state and local governments from requiring PLA mandates as a condition of receiving financial support for construction. The statute will allow airports and water authorities to require contractors enter into a PLA as a condition of performing work on some critical infrastructure projects, although it will require both to notify the public and to hold a hearing in advance of instituting the mandate. This will give stakeholders and the public an opportunity to express their opposition to a proposed PLA before entering into it is a requirement for contractors interested in performing work on these projects.
This is a big win for taxpayers and the 88 percent of Nevada’s construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor union. The merit shop construction community has opposed PLA mandates in Nevada for decades. This new statute effectively ends the debate when it comes to nearly all projects in the state.
The PLA reform movement isn’t quite done yet for 2015. As we reported earlier this year, the Ohio General Assembly is considering language that would ban PLA mandates on state funded construction projects as part of the state budget process. The House of Representatives passed their version of the budget in April; it included PLA reform language. Last week, the Senate leadership released their version of the budget and it includes the same reform language that was passed by the House.
Here at TheTruthAboutPLAs, we thank Senate President Keith Faber (R) and Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R) for their leadership in support of free enterprise and open competition on taxpayer-funded construction. We look forward to the debate on this issue. Our hope is the Senate will stand with the taxpayers who are picking up the tab for public construction, and not the union bosses who are just looking out for themselves.