Local governments ability to screen contractors and control costs on large projects are now banned after action taken by Republican lawmakers this year. After the new law, government entities are no longer allowed to have bidders for public contracts fill out a contractor qualification questionnaire as a requirement for the project and bans all government agencies (state, cities, counties, schools, community colleges) from entering into project labor agreements.

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a pre-hire agreement used to set the terms under which a contractor proceeds in all labor relations connected to its subsequent work on the project. PLAs are discretionary tools available to both public and private entities to manage complex or time-sensitive construction projects. PLAs determine wage rates, benefits and working conditions for all labor on a project. Many agreements contain provisions for the use of local labor and preventing work stoppages due to strikes or lockouts.

Local governments are now prohibited from asking simple questions of bidders for projects using public money such as; has your contractor registration ever been suspended or revoked in any jurisdiction; have you been debarred by any federal, state or local entity from bidding on projects; or has your company been cited by any governmental regulatory agency in the past 3 years? These questions allow governments to assess safety records, tax compliance history, past bidding history, and pending litigation, to obtain information that local governments feel helps them protect taxpayer dollars and are now banned under law.