Public Comments for 01/26/2021 General Laws - Open Government/Procurement Subcommittee
HB1849 - Apprenticeship training programs; DOLI, DGS, et al., shall review availability of programs.
Last Name: Julia Hammond Organization: Associated Builders and Contractors - Virginia Chapter Locality: Chesterfield

This bill is premature as the DOLI will be directed, by letter from the Speaker, to study this issue and report recommendations to the GA for consideration. Those recommendations may result in the need for future legislation. The letter to DOLI is in response to an apprenticeship study resolution patroned by Del. Simmonds and heard by House Rules.

Last Name: Allwine Organization: Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce Locality: Fredericksburg

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber supports apprenticeship programs and the valuable skills/pathway to a career they provide, however, this legislation would preclude many currently qualified contractors from public construction contracts. Many contractors may not have an apprenticeship program for every trade practiced within the company. This bill would force those who do not have the program to make costly changes to their company in order to compete. For these reasons, we regretfully oppose the bill.

Last Name: Snare Organization: Prince William Chamber of Commerce Locality: Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park

My name is Ross Snare and I represent the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and its 1200+ Members, while we strongly support apprenticeship programs and see them as an valuable asset that will improve the economic standing of the Commonwealth, we have concerns on the impact that this bill will have fiscally on contractors and therefore, cannot support the bill.

Last Name: Reynolds Organization: Hampton Roads Chamber Locality: Norfolk

My name is Emily Reynolds and I am the Executive Director of Government Affairs for the Hampton Roads Chamber. We are a pro-business organization serving over 1,200 members. On behalf of our members and the feedback we have received regarding this bill, we have concerns. While the Chamber supports apprenticeship programs and the valuable skills/pathway to a career they provide, this legislation would preclude many currently qualified contractors from public construction contracts. Many contractors may not have an apprenticeship program for every trade practiced within the company. This bill would force those who do not have the program to make costly changes to their company in order to compete. For these reasons, we regretfully oppose the bill.

Last Name: Durkin Organization: Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Locality: Roanoke

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce opposes this bill. While we support apprenticeship programs and the valuable skills/pathway to a career they provide, this legislation would preclude many currently qualified contractors from public construction contracts. Many contractors may not have an apprenticeship program for every trade practiced within the company, and this would bill would force those who do not to make costly changes to their company in order to compete.

Last Name: Ascher Organization: Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trade Association/United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Locality: Baltimore, MD

On behalf of the over 8600 United Association members and families across Virginia, I ask you to support HB 1849. Participants in a registered apprenticeship program receive the best available education in their craft, from safety standards to construction codes to the daily on-the-job training apprentices get while being supervised by licensed journeyman workers. Using workers trained in these self-funded programs provides untold value to Virginia and all its public bodies when they need to complete a construction project. We must ensure that the contractors hired to perform work on taxpayer-funded construction projects use workers who have completed this caliber of training. These programs must have a proven track record of consistently graduating students from apprentice to journeyman to add to this value. HB 1849 will guarantee these high-quality apprenticeship programs, and the contractors who use them are the ones providing the workers for public construction projects. For all these reasons, I ask you to support this legislation.

Last Name: Floyd Organization: Local 80, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locality: Chesapeake

Apprenticeships provide the training for future tradesmen, both by in classroom education and on the job training. Virginia needs to ensure that any contractor performing work in the commonwealth is participating in a registered apprenticeship. This provides not just the labor for the project today, but the training for the future jouneyperson. Additionally, this bill will prevent the exploitation of workers by contractors due to worker misclassification. This bill provides an avenue to ensure that new workers are given a hand up nw, rather than looking for a hand out later.

Last Name: James Spencer Organization: UA Local 5 Plumbers and Gasfitters Locality: Essex County Virginia

HB 1849 Virginia Public Procurement Act; participation in apprenticeship training programs, etc. I support HB 1849 Virginia Public Procurement Act, Introduced by: Shelly A. Simonds I support the expansion of self-funded apprenticeship training programs; Virginia should require its public bodies to include in every contract for construction over $250,000 provisions requiring the contractor, during the performance of the contract, to participate in a self-funded apprenticeship training program for each separate trade or classification program in which it employs construction employees. In addition, as the Act proposes, Virginia should ensure General Contractors, Prime Contractors and Construction Managers write subcontracts with flow down provisions in all subcontracts over $50,000 so that such self-funded apprenticeship provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor. Lou Spencer Caret, Virginia

Last Name: Ayres Organization: Concerned citizen Locality: King George

To whom it may concern, I have been involved in both residential and commercial construction for over 30 years in Virginia. First as an untrained worker when I started and then as an apprentice where I learned the proper, safe and most efficient way to perform my job to finally becoming a journey person to have the knowledge and wisdom to perform my work safely and properly. I feel it is critical and should be necessary for trades workers to be properly trained through properly accredited Apprenticeship programs to have the skills needed to construct, service and maintain all residential, commercial and infrastructure safely to protect the public and all that use or reside in it especially everything with government funding in it at the minimum. The tax payers deserve the best possible built government funded projects as possible since it will be their taxes paying for them and the public citizens will be accessing and using these projects. In conclusion once again for every ones safety please have the commonsense to require proper training through apprenticeship and proper classification so the correctly trained people are doing the work that they are correctly trained to do. Please look to the Commissioner of Labor's Office for further facts backing my concerns with injuries and deaths contributed to unskilled and misclassified workers performing the wrong jobs. Concerned Citizen,

HB2288 - Va. Public Procurement Act; construction contracts, requirement to submit list of subcontractors.
Last Name: Hammond Organization: Associated Builders and Contractors - Virginia Chapter Locality: Chesterfield

ABC-VA opposes this bill.

Last Name: Bruce Burton Organization: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Virginia AFL-CIO Locality: Alexandria area of Fairfax County

I write in support of HB 2288 (VA. Public Procurement Act; construction contracts, requirement to submit list of subcontractors), legislation designed to limit the irresponsible practice of "bid shopping" on public construction in Virginia. Bid shopping or bid pedaling occurs when a general contractor or project manager discloses the bid price from one subcontractor to another after bids have been submitted in an attempt to obtain a lower unreasonable price. This practice is highly unethical and leads to shoddy work and unsafe construction by incentivizing dangerous corner-cutting. Moreover, it defeats the purpose of the competitive bidding system. It is time to limit, if not end, the practice of bidshopping on public construction in Virginia. I respectfully request the Committee Members to support HB 2288 when it is brought-up for consideration.

Last Name: Ross Organization: CWA VA State Council Locality: Richmond

We support this bill

Last Name: Ross Organization: Central Virginia Labor Federation Locality: Richmond

We support this bill

Last Name: Ayres Organization: International Union of Elevator Constructors Locality: King George

Dear Chairman and Committee members, I am in support of HB 2288 as there is a large and long history of Contractors and sub-contractors that have been and are still being hired to do both public and private work that are not qualified and can not perform the work properly required in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We need to have a process that reviews the history and qualifications of contractors being hired in Virginia to protect the residents and the tax revenue being used. There should be no issues with this for contractors and sub-contractors that are being used for especially public work as we all should understand that there are more requirements to perform government work to protect the public citizens in all matters.

Last Name: Spencer Organization: UA Local 5 Plumbers and Gasfitters Locality: Essex

I support HB 2288. HB 2288 requires bidders or offerors on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more to submit along with their bid or proposal a list of all subcontractors, regardless of tier, that the bidder or offeror will use on the contract to perform work valued at $50,000 or more. HB 2288 requires such list to include certain information about each contractor. HB 2288 allows the public body to disqualify listed subcontractors. The practice of bid shopping is repugnant, and it must be stopped. Construction professionals are decisively opposed to bid shopping. Bid shopping and bid peddling are unethical and exploitative. This legislation increases transparency in the bidding process substantially; it will encourage and increase the number of responsive and responsible bidders and this will reduce cost associated with shoddy work and schedule delays. It is time for all professional contractors and construction trade associations and the Virginia General Assembly to come together in strident opposition to bid shopping stopping the practice altogether in Virginia, please vote favorably for HB 2288. Lou Spencer Caret, Virginia

Last Name: Solis Organization: Plumbers and Gasfitters Local No. 5 Locality: Loudoun

I support HB 2288 which revises the Virginia Public Procurement Act pertaining to construction contracts, requiring general contractors to submit a list of subcontractors. HB 2288 requires bidders or offerors on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more to submit along with their bid or proposal a list of all subcontractors, regardless of tier, that the bidder or offeror will use on the contract to perform work valued at $50,000 or more, including labor and materials. HB 2288 requires such list to include certain information about each contractor. HB 2288 allows the public body to disqualify listed subcontractors but requires the public body to notify the bidder or offeror of such disqualification and allow the bidder or offeror reasonable time to find a qualified replacement. HB 2288 provides that any bidder or offeror that does not submit the required list and statements will have its bid or proposal disqualified, and any bidder or offeror that is found to have knowingly provided false information pursuant to this section shall be debarred from contracting with any public body for a period of up to one year. The practice of bid shopping is repugnant, and it must be stopped. Construction professionals are decisively opposed to it bid shopping. Bid shopping and bid peddling are unethical and exploitative. It is time all professional contractor and construction trade associations and the Virginia General Assembly to come together in vociferous opposition to stop bid shopping in Virginia vote favorably for HB 2288. Respectfully Submitted, Tony Solis Leesburg, Virginia

Last Name: Spencer Organization: UA Local 5 Plumbers and Gasfitters Locality: Essex

I support HB 2288 which revises the Virginia Public Procurement Act pertaining to construction contracts, requiring general contractors to submit a list of subcontractors. HB 2288 requires bidders or offerors on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more to submit along with their bid or proposal a list of all subcontractors, regardless of tier, that the bidder or offeror will use on the contract to perform work valued at $50,000 or more, including labor and materials. HB 2288 requires such list to include certain information about each contractor. The bill also requires the bidder or offer to submit 1) a statement declaring that the bidder or offeror has reviewed the qualifications and performance history of each subcontractor and found such qualifications and performance history to be sufficient to qualify the subcontractor to perform the subcontract work and 2) a statement indicating that the bidder or offeror has received a written statement from each subcontractor verifying that such subcontractor (a) has not defaulted on any projects within the last three years, (b) has not been suspended or disbarred by any public body within the last three years, and (c) is not currently in bankruptcy. HB 2288 allows the public body to disqualify listed subcontractors but requires the public body to notify the bidder or offeror of such disqualification and allow the bidder or offeror reasonable time to find a qualified replacement. HB 2288 provides that any bidder or offeror that does not submit the required list and statements will have its bid or proposal disqualified, and any bidder or offeror that is found to have knowingly provided false information pursuant to this section shall be debarred from contracting with any public body for a period of up to one year. The practice of bid shopping is repugnant, and it must be stopped. Construction professionals are decisively opposed to it bid shopping. Bid shopping and bid peddling are unethical and exploitative. It is time all professional contractor and construction trade associations and the Virginia General Assembly to come together in vociferous opposition to stop bid shopping in Virginia vote favorably for HB 2288. Lou Spencer Caret, Virginia

End of Comments