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2011 Senate Bill 165: Ban project labor agreements

Public Act 98 of 2011

  1. Introduced by Sen. John Moolenaar (R) on February 17, 2011, to prohibit project labor agreements in state, school and local public construction, road projects, etc., or as a condition of selective tax breaks granted for private projects. Project labor agreements require a contractor to mandate that each employee must join a union as a condition of working on a project. Note: Projects using any state money would still be subject to the “prevailing wage” law, which prohibits awarding government contracts to the lowest bidder unless the contractor pays so-called "prevailing wages" based on union pay scales, which are generally above actual market rates. Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 4224 would repeal “prevailing wage”.
    • Referred to the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee on February 17, 2011.
      • Reported in the Senate on March 15, 2011, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on June 14, 2011, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance as previously described. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on June 14, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Mike Kowall (R) on June 16, 2011, to clarify that the a local government would still be allowed to grant a selective tax break or subsidy to particular unionized firm or developer, as long as the special treatment is not granted because of the beneficiary's unionization. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on June 16, 2011.
  2. Passed 26 to 12 in the Senate on June 16, 2011.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on June 16, 2011.
    • Referred to the House Commerce Committee on June 16, 2011.
      • Reported in the House on June 21, 2011, without amendment and with the recommendation that the bill pass.
  4. Passed 62 to 47 in the House on June 29, 2011, to prohibit project labor agreements in state, school and local public construction, road projects, etc., or as a condition of selective tax breaks granted for private projects. Project labor agreements require a contractor to mandate that each employee must join a union as a condition of working on a project. Note: Projects using any state money would still be subject to the “prevailing wage” law, which prohibits awarding government contracts to the lowest bidder unless the contractor pays so-called "prevailing wages" based on union pay scales, which are generally above actual market rates. Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 4224 would repeal “prevailing wage”.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on July 19, 2011.

Comments

Re: 2011 Senate Bill 165 (Ban project labor agreements )  by Admin003 on June 16, 2011 


Senators Colbeck and Moolenaar asked and were granted unanimous consent to make statements and moved that 


the statements be printed in the Journal. 


 The motion prevailed. 


 Senator Colbeck's statement is as follows: 


 I was honored to sit on the Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee where my collegue from the 36th 


District presented this bill to us, and we had a lot of discussion during the course of the hearings. One thing I would 


like to point out is I am surprised to hear the term "project labor agreement" used a lot. If you search this bill there is 


not one instance of that term posted in this bill. That is not just to be cute, like is sometimes done, but it is because 


this does not impair project labor agreements. 


 In the heart of this bill, in Section 5, it merely prohibits bid propsals that are going out that prohibit unions from 


bidding in it. It also precludes prohibiting the exclusion of private enterprise and companies from bidding. This is 


truly about fairness in competition.  Currently, 85 percent of perspective bidders on government contracts are 


excluded from bidding on those contracts. What kind of impact do you think that has on the bid price for some of 


these contracts? 


 One of the questions posed by my colleagues was who are we carrying the water for? I will tell you who we are 


carrying the water for on this one: for Michigan taxpayers and those of us who still hold to the ideals of free market 


competition. We need to stop interferring with this free market, and we need to stop picking winners and losers in 


the assignment and appropriation of taxpayer funds. 


 I strongly urge the support of this bill. 




Re: 2011 Senate Bill 165 (Ban project labor agreements )  by Admin003 on June 16, 2011 


Senator Moolenaar's statement is as follows: 


 I want to address some of the concerns that were  raised. During this process in committee, we added two 


amendments--one that affirms that this act does not affect the prevailing wage act, and second, that this act does not 


prohibit parties from entering into agreements or engaging in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act. 


The National Labor Relations Act is what allows parties to enter into project labor agreements. So what we are doing today is not eliminating those agreements. Project labor agreements will still exist. They 


just won't be able to discriminate anymore. So I would urge my colleagues to vote "yes." 




Re: 2011 Senate Bill 165 (Ban project labor agreements )  by Admin003 on June 16, 2011 


Senator Gregory's statement is as follows: 


 I also rise in opposition to Senate Bill No. 165, which is eliminating project labor agreements under the guise of 


fair employment practices. This bill is the opposite of fair, and it continues the Senate majority's unwarranted, 


relentless, and ongoing attack on organized labor. As my colleague spoke about a lot of the project agreements, I 


would like to go through some of the important roles that they have played. 


 Project labor agreements play an important role in enabling our local units of government to create safe and 


secure worksites and a reliable and productive workforce, union and nonunion alike. They significantly increase the te of employment among urban residents and minority workers on both publiclly- and privately- financed 


construction, alteration, repair, and improvement projects in Michigan. 


 Many labor associations and organization, as well as private construction companies, have all attested to and 


testified on the importance of project labor agreements. They improve workplace safety, promote community and 


public goodwill, lower costs, maintain timeliness, and ensure high-quality projects. Project labor agreements help 


standardize safety requirements, safety orientations, and communication of expectations to all parties. Standardized 


work rules cover all workers. 


 PLAs facilitate promoting and meeting worker residency and diversity requirements and help deter the hiring of 


undocumented workers or subcontractors who skirt paying taxes. Hiring requirements under PLAs improve 


employments opportunities for Michigan residents, indirectly support Michigan businesses, and ensure proper wages 


and benefits are offered. 


 PLAs stabilize and define wages for the project duration, require proper payment of overtime, and abide by state 


and federal laws. They can help prevent work stoppages through strikes and lockouts, and provide scheduling 


acceleration tools that reduce shift-work premiums, reduce overtime hours, and make-up days. 


 But, you know, after saying all this, the thing that bothers me the most about eliminating the PLAs, as my 


colleague said, is this will eliminate the local municipalities from being able to implement them. I represent 14 


communities, and in those communities, some have them and some don't. The communities that do have them have 


been presented to the council and the council has vetted these PLAs out and decided to accept them and have done a 


good job with them; so much so that they have saved money. Now for the this Legislature acting as if they are the 


great and all-knowing Oz, saying that we know better than you, you cannot perform to your best, and we must tell 


you what to do, and this body wants to eliminate PLAs. I have a community that has it and it works well. Now for 


me to come to Lansing and have my colleagues say, well, your community really doesn't know what to do, we are 


going to tell them what to do, I think, is totally disheartening. We have colleagues who want to take power away 


from the very units of government that serve the people we represent and say they don't know what they are doing.  


 So I am asking my colleagues to reconsider this--to table it, pull it off the table, reconsider, go over it, but do 


justice for the communities. For those communities that have it, don't just wipe it out for them saying we can do a 


better job. Those communities that don't want it don't have it. But the ones that do, please reconsider the 


ramifications of this to the local communities.  




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