Alabama Construction News

JAN-MAR 2018

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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Page 42 of 67

41 JAN-MAR 2018 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS A C A D E M Y O F C R A F T T R A I N I N G F U N D I N G Of utmost importance for this legislative session is to ensure the funding recommended by Governor Kay Ivey for the Academy of Craft Training (ACT) passes. The association has spent countless hours setting up the ACT for success, and this being a true public/private partnership, we hope to see the state do its part in funding, commented ABC of Alabama President Jay Reed. "During the first phase of the ACT, members across the state made contributions to get the training center running," said Reed. "This was certainly a heavy lift, and going forward, we need the state's support." Legislators are often inundated with requests to fund initiatives. But ABC of Alabama is convinced the analytics provided in its request for funding show the ACT program is successful, allowing individuals an opportunity to work on job sites, and providing students with a skill trade for the rest of their lives. P U B L I C S E C T O R L A N D S P E R F O R M A N C E A N D P A Y M E N T P R O T E C T I O N A C T ABC of Alabama, in conjunction with ABC of North Alabama, also introduced a piece of legislation this year. The legislation, referred to as Public Sector Lands Performance and Payment Protection Act—now as known as SB186—focuses on the fact that because methods of project financing and delivery have evolved over recent years, public/government owners of construction now have more options than the typical cash or public bond market financing. Private financing options have grown dramatically over recent years. While the exact model of a project delivery may be different on each project, a common occurrence in these is for the private company or quasi-government entity to be the Owner in the construction contract with the project being situated on public property that is furnished by the public/government agency requiring the project. Since the private entity under a "P3" is the construction Owner, it is not governed by Alabama's public bid law (Title 39), and the "Little Miller Act" would not be enforceable upon the contract for the project on public property. This is extremely problematic, leaving the possibility of unprotected losses to the public through potential default of the private entity or their contractors leaving the public property encumbered, or by exposing contractors, subcontractors, workers and material suppliers to unprotected and unenforced payment rights. Alabama has already seen some projects like this in various sizes, and some with the issues this bill addresses. H V A C B I L L ABC lf Alabama was also asked to weigh in on a piece of legislation—now known as HB69—that allowed cooperatives across the state to purchase HVAC systems. The association's leadership weighed in that there is no problem with the purchasing of these units as long as there is specific language precluding the installation of such units and those units should be installed by licensed heating and air contractors. The proponents of the legislation agreed to the amendment, and that amendment was submitted on January 25. ABC LEGISLATIVE UPDATE TRADITIONALLY, PEOPLE REFER TO A LEGISLATIVE SESSION WITH AN ELECTION YEAR AS A LAME DUCK SESSION. History shows that legislators want to get in, get out and start campaigning for their re-election. While that is certainly the case this year, there hasn't been a shortage of bills that have potential positive and negative impacts on the commercial construction industry. Staying consistent with their strategic plan, ABC of Alabama has certainly been on the ground in Montgomery monitoring those bills. T H E C R A F T T R A I N I N G B O A R D H O U S E K E E P I N G B I L L ABC also joined other associations in introducing a Housekeeping Bill to what is referred to as the Craft Training Board. HB230 simply allows for staggered term limits and a few other minor adjustments to the previously passed legislation. H B 4 3 ABC also is monitoring a piece of legislation that will impact Title 41 only in regards to veterans preference language. This proposed legislation calls for a 5% bid preference to veteran-owned businesses. This bill is known as HB43. B R O A D B A N D A L A B A M A B I L L ABC of Alabama is also part of a Broadband Alabama Bill known as SB149. This bill, referenced in Governor Ivey's State of the State Address, calls for a major initiative across Alabama to ensure the most rural areas of our state have access to internet. While this is certainly important to the education arena, economic development leaders have consistently said that proper internet technology is one issue that can hinder rural areas from securing major projects. P R I S O N R E F O R M While there was much talk going into session regarding prison reform, those conversations have not quite made it to the floor for full debate yet. While elected officials certainly reacted to the court rulings regarding the state of prisons in our state, there has been no legislation passed to date to address that problem. As you may recall, in previous issues of Alabama Construction News, some estimated over 800 million dollars worth of construction could occur should a comprehensive prison reform package passes. Leading ABC of Alabama's Legislative Committee this year are Mark Mattox of Robins & Morton and Jim Cooper of Cooper Construction. ABC of Alabama's Legislative Affairs staff include ABC of Alabama President Jay Reed, ABC of Alabama Vice President Todd Walker and Dave Stewart and Josh Blades, both of Bradley.

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