Legislature Sends Building Trades' Bills To Governor's Desk

September 12, 2011 - The final week of the legislative session was extremely productive for the Building Trades, as our backed bills won approval from the Senate and Assembly, and were sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Here is a rundown of the Building Trades backed legislation that won approval in the session’s final days.

SB 922 (Steinberg/Perez) The bill to prohibit local government bans on PLAs in counties and general law cities, and deny public works funding to charter cities that have such bans.

AB 436 (Solorio/Padilla) This bill would revise SB X2-9 (Padilla) statutes of 2009, which created the Public Works Enforcement Fund and Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) at the Department of Industrial Relations.  The CMU would enforce prevailing wage law on infrastructure projects funded by state bonds.  Under AB 436, projects with PLAs would be exempt from the fee. 

AB 514 (Hernandez) Clarifies that prevailing wage is applicable to the hauling of refuse from a public works site to an outside disposal location in order to provide truck drivers with a fair wage for their work. 

AB 551 (Campos) Increases the penalties levied against contractors who willfully and routinely cheat workers from their fair wage.  Increasing the amount of these fines to current dollars will help protect workers from contractors who view labor violations as simply a cost of business. 

AB 554 (Atkins) This bill would require WIA funded training in apprenticeable occupations to be formally connected with state approved apprenticeship programs.  This will establish critical connections between pre-apprenticeship and state approved apprenticeship programs and other high quality labor-management training partnerships. 

AB 1330 (Furutani) Will empower students, parents and school districts with the option of developing an education plan that best suits the pupil’s education desires and interests by allowing a student to substitute one current graduation requirement with a career technical vocational course that provides an academically rigorous and hands-on technical skills class.  

AB 1344 (Feuer) This bill would add public accountability to the charter conversion process by requiring the governing body to hold two public hearings, each separated by thirty days and also requires a twenty-one day period after the second hearing before a vote by the governing body to place the charter proposal on the ballot. 

SB 56 (Corbett) This measure revises how California oversees state approved apprenticeship programs and provides the Division of Apprenticeship Standards with the authority to expose fly by night programs that are not committed to training.  Specifically, this bill would put in place an audit trigger system that would require a building and construction trades apprenticeship program to be audited when they fall below acceptable standards. 

SB 136 (Yee)  This bill would require prevailing wage on all state funded energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  This bill was developed to close any potential loopholes in current law relating to power purchase agreements and energy service contracts.     

SB 454 (Pavley)  This bill authorizes the California Energy Commission to adopt an administrative enforcement process, including civil penalties, for violations of its appliance efficiency standards.  Requires utility energy efficiency rebates to be provided only if work complies with applicable permitting and contractor licensing requirements.

SB 734 (DeSaulnier)  This bill will require local WIBs to spend at least 30% of their WIA funds on workforce training ensuring that more individuals receive skills training by increasing the share of local WIA resources committed to providing effective, longer-term training and supportive services. 

SB 292 (Padilla/ Speaker Perez) This bill establishes expedited judicial review procedures and requires implementation of specified traffic and air quality mitigation measures under CEQA for the downtown Los Angeles football stadium and convention center project.  The Los Angeles Building Trades delegation and leadership effectively lobbied SB 292 which passed both Legislative houses with strong bipartisan support.

Many of these bills were passed in the closing hours of the legislative session that ended last Friday. SBCTC legislative advocates Cesar Diaz and Jeremy Smith worked tirelessly into the late night/early morning sessions to secure the needed votes to protect the interests of Building Trades workers.

For more information on any of these bills, contact Cesar or Jeremy at 916-443-3302. 


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