Three SBCTC-sponsored bills clear Legislature

With the legislative session nearing its end, the State Building and Construction Trades Council has registered three victories on bills that have passed both houses and have been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 418, authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, will allow for organizing nonunion workers while easing compliance with the public works’ “skilled and trained workforce” requirements for signatory contractors who engage in joint labor-management apprenticeship programs. It passed the Senate for final concurrence on a 37-3 vote on Tuesday after previously passing the Assembly, 75-0.

Assembly Bill 618 (by Assembly Member Evan Low) authorizes community college districts to enter into “job order contracts,” an alternative construction contracting method that has already been available to local K-12 school districts. Only community college and K-12 districts that have project labor agreements will be able to utilize this authorization. It passed the Assembly Tuesday, 52-3, after previously making it through the Senate, 28-12.

Assembly Bill 55 (by Assembly Member Tony Thurmond) requires refinery owners and operators to disclose long term contracts that they signed to avoid having to utilize a skilled and trained workforce under Senate Bill 54 that was enacted in 2014. The companies have until Feb. 1, 2018, to make the disclosures. The bill passed the Assembly on Tuesday, 53-22, after the Senate previously had approved it 26-12.

“This is part of the legislative agenda to address protections for workers on public works projects as well as private construction projects,” said SBCTC Legislative and Political Director Cesar Diaz. “They are meant to promote a skilled and trained workforce and project labor agreements. Combined, the package will help increase man hours across all construction sectors.”

The session ends on Sept. 15.