2013 LEGISLATIVE & POLICY POSITIONS
If you have any questions, please contact Brad Barnum, Vice President Government Relations, at 858-731-8158.
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- AGC supports public entities adopting comprehensive, long-term infrastructure funding programs. Public entities have the responsibility to ensure that the vertical and horizontal infrastructure under their control needs to be maintained and modernized on a schedule that keeps the value of the public asset from deteriorating. Public entities must allocate a proper amount of their budgets to renovating and maintaining infrastructure. AGC will work with public entities to ensure their infrastructure investments are adequate. We will support revisiting on a regular basis the regulations at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that the process is efficient and effective.
Transportation Infrastructure Funding
- Monitor the implementation of Propositions 1A-1E approved by the voters in November 2006, and continue to support these bond funded projects.
- Seek long term financial commitments and solutions concerning the financing of California’s transportation infrastructure.
- Monitor actions of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to ensure that Proposition A (TransNet Sales Tax Extension) is implemented in a timely and competitive fashion, and to ensure the funds will be used for the capital improvement projects as defined in the proposition.
- Support SANDAG’s efforts to implement its 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).
- Work with Caltrans District 11to ensure that all currently planned transportation projects in San Diego County are fully funded and implemented. AGC will actively lobby Caltrans, SANDAG, the Legislature, and the Governor’s Office concerning these projects. The AGC General Engineering Contractors’ Council and the Government Relations Committee will review a detailed listing of projects on a regular basis.
- Monitor actions of Transportation California, a statewide coalition of contractors, businesses, and construction labor unions, in order to accelerate investment in transportation.
San Diego Airport Improvements
- AGC supports efforts to improve San Diego’s air service infrastructure.
- Monitor the implementation of the alternative project delivery methods for future airport authority projects.
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
- AGC supports Clean Air and the spirit of the Clean Air Act.
- Monitor the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) off-road or on-road diesel regulations and reporting/compliance timelines for construction equipment and hold workshops as needed. Continue discussions between the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition (CIAQC) and the State Air Resources Board.
- Monitor the implementation of CARB’s Portable Equipment Registration Program and work with the local Air Pollution Control District as permitting options are addressed.
- Oppose any legislative efforts to impose additional requirements on the industry beyond the CARB regulations.
- AGC supports Clean Water and the spirit of the Clean Water Act.
- Storm-water runoff is a very difficult problem for the construction industry. We support the basic concept of controlling runoff from construction projects to help the environment, especially in San Diego with our outstanding beaches. We acknowledge that law requires that storm-water runoff must be contained on construction projects. AGC’s position is that both public and private owners have the responsibility to design the plan to contain storm-water runoff. It is not the responsibility of the contractor. The contractor has the responsibility to build the properly designed storm-water runoff plan that the owner has designed and permitted for each project. If a violation of the storm-water runoff occurs on a construction project, the contractor should be responsible only if the contractor does not comply with the plan provided by an engineer retained by the owner. AGC opposes any rules that hold a contractor responsible for runoff plans that do not work.
- Participate as a member of the Construction Industry Water Quality Coalition, and monitor the actions of the State Water Quality Control Board as it implements the State Construction Permit. Monitor the actions of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board as it implements the Municipal Storm Water Permit.
- Work with Caltrans and AGC-California as the Caltrans Construction Permit is implemented.
- AGC supports the concept of sustainable buildings and recycling of building materials.
- Support efforts to add “Green Building” requirements to public and commercial building specifications, provided that such requirements are cost-effective throughout the project’s life-cycle, clearly defined, reasonable, and commercially available, and the budgets are adjusted to include the requirements.
CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND SUPPLY
- Work with industry partners and business leaders to educate elected officials about aggregate shortage and how it will impact the construction industry and the region’s quality of life.
- Support every sound and legitimate industry effort to expand aggregate production sites.
- Encourage local entities to identify, develop, and permit additional sites, particularly in North San Diego County.
- Work with Caltrans and industry partners to help develop performance based specifications that allow better utilization of aggregate products and recycled materials.
PUBLIC CONTRACT PROCUREMENT AND SPECIFICATIONS
Public Entity Project Funding Disclosure
- AGC believes that both public agencies and private owners must be required and obligated to disclose the funding source and amount for each project in bid documents.
Public Works Procurement and Alternative Delivery Methods (APDM)
- AGC recognizes the growing interest of public and private sector owners to utilize APDM to execute certain vertical and horizontal infrastructure projects. APDM provides public owners with other “tools” in their project delivery tool box. Each owner should educate itself on the use of various APDM’s available to them under local, state, or federal guidelines, and should strive to follow the law in such a manner as to create fair and open competition among the contractors and subcontractors pursuing these APDM projects.
- Each delivery method offers various advantages and disadvantages to an owner based upon the owner’s overall vision, mission and philosophy as well as the complexities and goals of each individual project. AGC does not promote one delivery method over another.
- Oppose efforts that will limit competition on projects by packaging smaller projects into a single “mega” project, which could effectively eliminate most contractors from participating on the project.
- Strongly support an inclusive procurement process for all size contractors to create as much diversity as possible.
- Monitor the progress of existing design-build projects and assist in the evaluation of those projects to establish a basis for future design-build authorization.
Pre-qualification of Contractors
- Work with the Department of Industrial Relations to modify the existing local agency prequalification program so it doesn’t discriminate against qualified contractors.
- If pre-qualification is used by a local public entity, AGC will urge utilizing the rules developed by DIR as the basis of the pre-qualification.
- Monitor the implementation of AB 1565 passed in 2012 (effective 1/1/14) that requires prequalification for general contractors, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing subcontractors on local projects over $1 million funded by state school bonds or future state bonds.
City of San Diego Subcontractor Outreach Program (SCOPe) and Small Local Business Enterprise Program (SLBE)
- Encourage the City of San Diego to eliminate SCOPe. Monitor implementation of the City’s CIP streamlining process, which includes the SLBE Program, and continue to work with city staff in their efforts to increase subcontractor participation.
Emerging Business / Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE)
- AGC supports public entities complying with Prop 209 and the series of recent court decisions, including Western States Paving vs. State of Washington, that define the public entity responsibilities concerning laws or ordinances that favor one group of citizens over another. AGC supports using mentor/protégé programs to build a strong group of small and historically underutilized firms within the industry.
- Monitor the implementation of public agency disparity/availability studies to make sure they are following the provisions of the Western States’ case.
Force Account Work
- AGC opposes the extension of existing force account work by public agencies. Work with the Construction Industry Force Account Council to support legislation to limit public agencies from performing work with their own forces.
Reverse Auction Bidding
- Oppose legislation that would allow “reverse auction bidding” by publicly regulated utilities, cities, and other public agencies.
Local Contractor Preference Policies
- AGC opposes local bid preference except when used as a “mirror preference”.
- AGC supports packaging of very large projects into smaller components to encourage competition by smaller contractors.
BUILDING CODE REVISIONS
"Supercenter" Retail Stores
- AGC opposes any ordinance that restricts a particular class or category of any commercial, industrial, or institutional project from being built, as long as the project is zoned and planned according to existing law.
WAGES, HOURS, AND WORKING CONDITIONS
- Monitor actions of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Office of the Labor Commissioner and oppose actions that will have the impact of expanding the use of prevailing wage for offsite construction and fabrication and traditional private work.
- Amend DIR’s position relating to off-site material trucking on public projects to parallel the Federal Davis-Bacon Act.
Wage Order 16
- Oppose changes that put undue burdens on construction employers.
- Monitor the impact of the Brinker case as it relates to employee meal and rest breaks, and continue to monitor implementation of other provisions of Wage Order 16, and explore solutions that will provide flexibility for the construction industry relating to tool requirements, and other miscellaneous provisions that are now being developed by the Labor Agency and implemented by the Division of Labor Standards in San Diego.
LABOR, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, & TRAINING
- Support Reform of the United States Immigration Laws to reflect current realities in the U.S.
- Reform should be comprehensive: addressing both future economic needs for future workers and undocumented workers already in the U.S.
- Reform should strengthen national security by providing for the screening of foreign workers, creating a disincentive for illegal immigration, and provisions to protect our border.
- Reform should strengthen the rule of law by establishing clear, sensible immigration laws that are efficiently and vigorously enforced.
- Reform should create an immigration system that functions efficiently for employers, workers, and government agencies.
- Reform should create a program that allows hard working, tax paying undocumented workers to earn legal status.
- Reform should ensure that U.S. workers are not displaced by foreign workers.
- Reform should ensure that all legal workers enjoy the same labor law protections.
Workforce Development / Career Technical Education / Apprenticeship
- AGC strongly supports initiatives and programs that attract quality people to the construction workforce and helps them to develop their professional and craft skills.
- Promote public and legislative awareness of the need and benefits of funding career and vocational education for the construction industry.
- Support legislation pertaining to apprenticeship standards that allows for expansion of responsible programs that will bring more individuals to the industry.
- AGC will continually petition the California Apprenticeship Council to allow expansion of legitimate apprenticeship programs that will provide apprenticeship opportunities for more Californians.
- Continue to support the Construction Tech Academy, and similar career technical education programs.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING/ORGANIZED LABOR
Project Labor Agreements
- AGC supports fair and open competition.
- AGC opposes government-mandated, or coerced, Project Labor Agreements and believes they discourage competition, are unfair to non-union contractors and subcontractors, cause construction costs to increase, and undermine the collective bargaining process between employers and trade unions.
- AGC believes that Executive Order #13502, which was signed by President Obama on 2/6/09, has the potential to limit a contractor’s ability to compete for projects. Given that federal agencies have no demonstrated experience in writing contracts that cover contractors and their employees, AGC strongly encourages officials to exercise the discretion this order provides and avoid government mandated labor agreements.
- AGC will propose provisions that ensure bid specification or other controlling documents do not require contractors or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with labor organizations.
- Oppose any entity that attempts to file “environmental protection” actions that are actually attempts to leverage PLAs on projects.
- Monitor the implementation of Proposition A, passed by City of San Diego voters in 2012, which provides for fair and open competition in construction, and transparency in government.
- Monitor the implementation of SB 922 and SB 829, passed in 2011 and 2012, respectively, which may impact cities and counties that have passed PLA bans.
- Oppose efforts to circumvent the will of the people or efforts to interfere with a public entities’ right to self govern.
- Support the current card-check recognition and secret-ballot elections to establish union representation.
- Oppose the “Employee Free Choice Act”, which takes away a worker’s right to a federally supervised private ballot election when deciding whether or not to select union representation.
PAYMENT AND COLLECTIONS
- AGC supports prompt pay to Contractors and Subcontractors for work properly performed.
- AGC opposes any local public entity “adjusting” California’s prompt pay law. All issues concerning prompt pay should be addressed in the State Legislature.
- The amount of retention withheld should be reduced in a proportionate manner as the contract progresses. This policy needs to be worked out with agencies and owners on an agency by agency and owner by owner basis.
LIABILITY, INDEMNITY, INSURANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT
Construction Indemnity Agreements
- Provide a leadership role in bringing the construction industry together to address the lack of availability and affordability of liability insurance.
- Monitor the implementation of SB 474 passed in 2011 that prohibits Type I Indemnity clauses in commercial construction contracts between prime contractors and subcontractors. Continue to meet with subcontractor groups and other stakeholders on outstanding issues, such as additional insured endorsements and duty to defend, and hold workshops as needed.
- Continue to support legislation and regulations that support the concept of "SB-800 - Right To Repair Act", passed in 2003, giving builders an opportunity to repair construction defects before litigation is allowed on new home construction (which includes condos).
- Support legislation to expand “Right To Repair” to commercial and apartment projects.
- Support legislation and/or tort reform designed to limit inflated or "frivolous" construction defect claims by building owners, users and homeowners.
- Continue to support regulatory changes needed to make California’s worker’s compensation system competitive with other states.
Wrap-Up Insurance Programs (OCIPs)
- See attached "AGC Guideline on Wrap-Up Insurance Programs (OCIPs)" for more details. (click here)
Builder's Risk Insurance
- See attached “AGC Guideline on Builder’s Risk Insurance Policies” for more details. (click here)
Contractor Licensing - LLC Companies
- Monitor the implementation of SB 392 passed in 2010 (effective 1/1/13) to allow LLC incorporated companies to be licensed as contractors by the Contractors State License Board, and hold workshops as necessary.
Advocacy / Legislative Grass Roots Activities
- Continue to formulate a Rebuild San Diego Coalition with other construction and non-construction trade associations that have an interest in investment in the local infrastructure.
- Expand member involvement in the grass roots “legislative network”.
- Track activities/votes of elected officials/public agencies and prepare “scorecard” as necessary.
- Increase political presence throughout San Diego County.
- Enhance and utilize the San Diego County Public Agency List on AGC Website.
- Seek out opportunities for AGC members to fill vacant positions on state or regional boards/commissions.