Feb. 19, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to veto legislation that would require Hurricane Sandy reconstruction projects costing $5 million or more to utilize project labor agreements (PLAs).
Wilson’s letter cited two studies that found PLAs cost taxpayers considerably more than non-PLA projects that had been highlighted in a Wall Street Journal editorial.
A Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University study found comparing the period when PLAs were prohibited under federal law to when they were not that “PLAs increase the cost of construction by 12% to 18%.”
“That will mean less bang for the buck — anywhere from 10.7% to 15.2% less reconstruction would occur in New Jersey as a result,” Wilson wrote in his letter.
Another study from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development found that public school construction utilizing PLAs in New Jersey cost 30.5% more than non-PLA construction projects.
“If accurate, that would mean an even worse 23.3% less reconstruction would occur if PLAs are utilized, hardly a responsible use of limited resources,” Wilson noted.
S2425 has passed the New Jersey legislature and awaits Gov. Christie’s signature to become law. Wilson said “this simple math shows that PLAs are not in the public interest, nor that of taxpayers’. They are solely in the interest of labor organizations that will make more money if they are utilized.”
“This leaves you with the choice of favoring spending more money to achieve less as a result in terms of reconstruction, or to veto this legislation, achieving more for the taxpayers at a lower cost,” Wilson concluded.
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