SubAla Weighs in on Member Issues at Alabama Statehouse
With over 1/3 of the session now complete, issues that are important to SubAla members are surfacing at a fast pace. Faced with at times overlapping committee meetings the SubAla team weighed in on several key issues before the Alabama legislature this week.
One of the most interesting aspects of this week is just how many different committees and legislators the SubAla team must interact with to have a successful program. Highlights and the members of the committees are listed below:
Public Works Prompt Pay Showdown: Committee Tells Counties to Pay on Time
A packed committee was on hand to hear testimony from several counties as to the burden placed on the county to follow the prompt pay bill if enacted. After a lengthy hearing on
HB 24 sponsored by Rep. Bill Roberts, R-Jasper, in the Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee a unanimous vote to give the bill a favorable report clearly indicated that the members did not buy into the hardship tales by several County Commission officials.
An amendment failed to be adopted that was pushed by the County Association. The amendment would have preserved an exemption for federally-funded projects while requiring public entities to disclose the use of federal funds in bid documents, thereby allowing contractors to bid with the knowledge that payments may be delayed. Without the amendment, the Counties contended, the bill would directly impact participation in many federal grant programs.
Committee members are Representatives: Lynn Greer, Victor Gaston, Richard Laird, George Bandy, Richard Baughn, Merika Coleman-Evans, Joe Faust, Mike Jones, Darrio Melton, Bill Roberts, John Robinson, Randall Shedd, Kurt Wallace
The bill was read for the Second time in the House and is eligible for a Special Order Calendar and vote in the House. The Senate version is expected to be introduced by Sen. Greg Reed,-R-Jasper.
Provisions of the bill address the following:
*Any pre-bid meetings must be held at least 7 days prior to bid opening.
*Partial payments would be required within 35 days as opposed to the previous 45 days.
*The payments must be approved within 10 days of submission by a representative of the awarding authority or provide a reason for disapproval.
*If not paid within 35 days, the amount is subject to interest if the amount in not in dispute.
*The provisions would not apply in states of declared emergency.
*No modifications to bid specifications will be allowed within 24 hours of the bid opening.
*Any Materially different conditions previously unknown but discovered after the contract must be revealed prior to the affected work commencing. all parties must be notified within 10 days of discovery. Once notified there shall be an investigation by an architect or engineer. If material differences are confirmed by architect or engineer, an adjustment to the cost or time of the contract shall be made based on the architect or engineer recommendations. The architect or engineer shall notify all parties in writing if no material differences are determined.
*Grants and similarly funded projects are required to also be paid within 35 days.
Fair And Open Competition in Government
Slated for House Consideration on Tuesday
The bill known and cited as the Fair and Open Competition in Government is slated for number one on the House Special Order Calendar for the next legislative day which will occur on Tuesday. HB 195, sponsored by Rep. Mack Butler, R-Gadsden, who is an electrical contractor and the bill sponsor for SubAla in the 2013 session is set to champion the bill.
Also on the fast track is the Senate version of the bill. After sitting in the Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability committee for hours awaiting the bill, as expected, the Senate version of the Fair and Open Competition in Government sponsored by Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, soared out of committee with no questions. As reported, the bill does not allow unions to be favored over non union shops. It received a Second Reading on Thursday and is eligible for final Senate passage as early as next week.
Members of the Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability committee are Senators Phil Williams, Paul Bussman, Linda Coleman, Rusty Glover, Marc Keahey, Clay Scofield, Bryan Taylor, Del Marsh.
Right to Work Bill out of Committee
A Public Hearing called by the AFL-CIO was also held on SB127 by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, in the Senate Business & Labor Committee on Wednesday. The bill would allow voters to decide if Alabama's "right to work" policy should be part of the Alabama Constitution in the next general election. The bill was given a favorable report and a second reading this week. It could also be heard in the coming weeks on the floor of the Senate with some opposition from Democrats.
The bill states that Alabamians have the right to work without requiring membership or non-membership in a labor union being a condition of employment. It would also keep employers from requiring an employee from abstaining from a labor organization.
The Business and Labor committee and its members listed below are: Senators Rusty Glover, Slade Blackwell, Priscilla Dunn, Marc Keahey, Shadrack McGill, Clay Scofield, Rodger Smitherman, Cam Ward, Del Marsh .
Workmen's Compensation Bill Supported by SubAla
SB 304 Sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Shelby, will be another top priority for passage by SubAla. The bill amends the current code section that deals with the exemption of workers' compensation coverage and removes the requirement for the filing with the Department of Labor. It also adds a limited liability company as an exemption. It was assigned to the Senate Business and Labor Committee.
SubAla Bill Watch
Residential Sprinkler Bill Back as Usual
SubAla continues to monitor this bill that has been around for several years.
HB385 sponsored by Rep. Hill-R-Shelby was carried over in the Insurance committee this week.
The bill would allow the State Fire Marshall to issue permits to "fire protection contractors" for the installation of residential sprinklers. It is suspected to be back on the agenda next week.
SubAla Supported Workforce Council Vetted in Committee This Week
Rep. Collins-R-Morgan and Sen. Bussman-R-Cullman each have a bill in the Commerce and Small Business committee, HB345 and SB217 respectively, that would create the Alabama Workforce Council. The Council would be an appointed group of state business and industry senior managers responsible for advising and supporting the Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System and the Superintendent of the Alabama Department of Education. The Alabama Workforce Council will serve as an advisory body in formulating policies, developing innovative educational workforce programming, and discussing issues critical to the workforce development needs in the State of Alabama.
Both bills received a favorable report from the committee and are postured for final passage from the House.
Plumbing Board on Watch List
SB150 would amend the statute relating to the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board and the licensing and regulation of plumbers and gas fitters. The changes would reference definitions, examining board, disbursement of funds, certification, renewals, fees, and disciplinary actions. Sponsored by Sen. Allen-R-Tuscaloosa, the bill received a favorable report from the Business and Labor committee this week.
Please be sure to contact David Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or concerns on current or proposed legislation.
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