May 3, 2021
The Alliance for Construction Excellence (ACE) has been working diligently for the past four months following legislative activities in Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area.
In Maryland efforts were successful in opposing House Bill 581 and Senate Bill 486 which would have required contractors to pay hazard pay to all construction workers. If passed as originally proposed, it would have been made retroactive to March of 2020.
House Bill 64 was also defeated. This would have required contractors to provide handwashing stations at every job site.
On a positive note, a new bill relating to prevailing wage looks like it will be passing. This will lower the threshold on school construction projects from $500,000 to $250,000.
In Virginia ACE worked on several bills including House Bill 2137 which was a mandatory paid sick leave bill. While this was approved, it was significantly paired back to affect only health care workers.
Unfortunately, House Bill 2288-Public Procurement Act; failed to pass. More often referred to “bid listing” this bill would have required general contractors to use the subcontractors who bid on the contract and not given the option of rebidding the work following the awarding the job.
House Bill 1996 was also being followed but did not make it out of the General Laws and Technology Committee. Had it passed this bill would have allowed localities to include in the Invitation to Bid criteria that may be used in determining whether any bidder is a responsible bidder. Under current law, a locality may only include such criteria for bidders who are not prequalified by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The SMACNA Mid-Atlantic Chapter is an active member of ACE and regularly submits testimony and testifies on its behalf. Other members of ACE are NECA Washington, NECA Maryland, MCAMW, MCA Maryland, ASA Metro Washington, and Iron Workers Employers Association.