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February 19, 2015

AGMA Legislative Update

The Pennsylvania legislature started the 2015-16 legislative Session two months ago and AGMA has been working on an aggressive government affairs and lobbying plan. While we may have a friend in Governor Wolf, divided government with Republicans solidly in control in the House and Senate require that we work hard to achieve our goals.

In this legislative session we will focus on the following four key issues to AGMA:

Support Legislation for Prompt Payment of Contractors. It is an increasing problem in Pennsylvania that sub-contractors are not getting paid in a reasonable time for work that they performed at a project on behalf of a general contractors. Sub-contractors need protections under the law that insures we get paid promptly for the work we do. We will work to ensure that PA Rep. Killion’s “Suspension of Work” Amendment will be included to PA Rep. Tobash’s proposed Prompt Pay Act. On January 20, 2015, PA Rep. Tobash filed his co-sponsorship memo on this legislation, which provides additional incentives to pay contractors and subcontractors on time.

We Will Fight Changes to Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Law. There are numerous Bills in the Pennsylvania House and Senate to repeal or greatly alter Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage law. AGMA will be working in this legislative session to prevent any of these changes from getting enacted and maintain Pennsylvania’s strong Prevailing Wage law.

Support Increased State Capital Funding for Community and Economic Development Programs. Community and economic development projects are important catalysts to grow communities, they employ large amounts union contractors and workers. Over the past four years, spending on these vital projects has not kept pace with community needs. In 2015-16, AGMA will be advocating for greater state spending on community and economic development projects.

Work for Passage of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Legislation. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation is a successful way to promote the adoption of home based energy conservation and local economic development by allowing homeowners to economically invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Already 26 states have passed PACE laws. AGMA will be working with NECA Penn Del Jersey in this Session to pass a similar Bill in Pennsylvania and provide homeowners with a new way to make important investments in their energy future.

No doubt, the next two years should be an interesting time for finishing contractors and our partners in organized labor. AGMA will be working hard in Harrisburg to make sure that public policy helps lift our businesses and does not hurt our future.


• HB 63 (Keller, Fred) -Amends the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act raising threshold for public work from $25,000 to $190,000, adjusted annually on March 1 to conform with increases in CPI. Effective in 60 days.
Last Action: 2- 2-15 Introduced and referred to committee on House Labor and Industry.

• SB 149 (Yaw, Gene) -Amends the PA Prevailing Wage Act to further provide for the definition of “public work” by increasing the dollar threshold from $25,000 to $185,000 for the total estimated cost of the project. Effective in 60 days.
Last Action: 1-14-15 Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Labor and Industry.

• SB 280 (Folmer, Mike) The State Apprenticeship and Commission Training Act establishes the State Apprenticeship and Training Commission; provides for the transfer of functions of the State Apprenticeship and Training Council; provides the powers and duties of the executive director; and establishes the State Apprenticeship Advisory Council. Effective in 60 days.
Last Action: 1-16-15 Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Labor and Industry.

• SB 349 (Smucker, Lloyd) Amends the Prevailing Wage Act to further provide for duty of secretary by adding that the minimum wage rate shall be equal to the average hourly occupational wage for each county as determined from wage information submitted by employers on quarterly unemployment compensation tax returns. Effective in 60 days.
Last Action: 1-28-15 Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Labor and Industry.

• SB 351 (Smucker, Lloyd) Amends the PA Prevailing Wage Act further to provide definitions for maintenance work” to include the following actions taken on roads: (1) Replacement in kind, or compliance with current Department of Transportation design criteria and standards, of guide rails, curbs, pipes, line painting and other related road equipment; (2) Repair of pavement service; (3) Widening of existing alignment which does not result in additional lanes or new shoulders; and (4) Bridge cleaning, washing, resurfacing with blacktop, minor nonstructural repairs or improvements and painting, except when combined with complete bridge rehabilitation. Effective in 60 days.
Last Action: 1-28-15 Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Labor and Industry.