Monday, January 30, 2012

Virginia Progressive Caucus Statement On Project Labor Agreement Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      Contact: Nicholas Kessler, 804-381-6647
January 30, 2012                                             

PLAs Are "Cost-Efficient" And "An Important Tool To Protect The Interests Of Taxpayers"

Richmond - Today, the Virginia House of Delegates voted to give approval on second reading to HB 33. This bill is intended to prohibit Virginia and recipients of state funding from using project labor agreements (PLAs).

HB 33 has a total of 66 patrons, all of whom caucus with the Republican party. The chief patrons are Del. Barbara Comstock (R-Fairfax), Del. Timothy Hugo (R-Fairfax), and Del. David Ramadan (R-Loudoun).

The Progressive Caucus released its 2012 agenda this month, including the policy goal of opposing "bills attacking Project Labor Agreements, which lower costs and improve quality and performance." The Progressive Caucus strongly opposes HB 33.

"This legislation will tie Virginia's hands and prevent us from ever using an important tool to protect the interests of taxpayers," said Delegate David Englin (D-Alexandria). "The HOT Lanes project has been proceeding with a Project Labor Agreement in place, and it's on time, on budget, with no cost overruns, and no fatalities or major injuries. The Mixing Bowl project had no Project Labor Agreement, and it was delayed, met very few project deadlines, was 100 percent over budget, had $350 million in cost overruns, three fatalities, and several major injuries. Anyone who cares about protecting the interests of taxpayers and ensuring major projects proceed safely and efficiently should oppose this bill to deny Virginia the ability to use this important tool."