FOR UNDER $75 PER MONTH, MEMBERSHIP PROVIDES A RETURN MANY TIMES OVER
HALF TIME REPORT - 2021-2022
California has a 2 year legislative session separated by 3 months of recess, called “interim session.” This includes work among advocates and staff continues in terms of drafting new bills for 2022 and amendments for 2021 bills that were stalled.
As of the October 10th deadline to sign or veto bills, the Governor has acted on 836 proposals that state lawmakers sent to his desk. Of those, he signed 770 (92%) and vetoed 66 (7.9%).
ASAC was active on 13 bills out of 39 that directly impacted Subcontractors, that we constantly monitored, submitted written position letters, and testified on virtual testimony internet sites.
Below is the total bill count. You can see that thousands of bills were introduced, many were dropped, almost all were amended meaning we had to review almost 3500 bills. This is what we do for ASAC MEMBERS… maintain constant vigilance on a daily basis.
Bill Counts by House of Origin 1st Year:
ASAC has actively participated in the law making process this year, monitoring, supporting, helping to amend, or opposing bills on ALL Subcontractors’ behalf. ASAC has been monitoring 39 bills that are most important to trade contractors and suppliers (2,776 were introduced where most were amended, requiring additional review). ASAC has communicated with the Governor’s staff urging him to sign several bills that support trade contractors and suppliers.
ASAC has several special topic subcommittees that are part of its Government Relations Committee. Each has a lead subcontractor, attorney or specialist as chair. They are sent the bills within one day of being introduced or amended where they review, research and recommend a “position” on each that ASAC follows up on. These individuals all work in the industry and are ASAC volunteers working to protect all trade contractors and suppliers.
It is important work for subcontractor’s and supplier’s businesses. Without this work, trade contractor’s and supplier’s rights would likely be abrogated, which would materially affect their business. Membership is the deciding factor for this work to continue.
We have had an active year so far.... Here's what we’ve done for all Subcontractors:
1. We convened our eleventh annual meeting among 20 construction industry lobbyists, CEO's, and our own Government Relations Committee leaders to discuss what bills they are introducing.
2. We analyzed dozens of bills to determine which we should help pass, defeat, or amend.
3. Amidst the COVID situation all hearings were postponed until a technical fix was developed to allow for the public to participate; indeed, we testified virtually, sometimes by Zoom video and also by calling into the hearings.
4. We convened Governmental Relations Committee conference calls about every six weeks, also using the Zoom video meetings to better communicate "face-to-face".
5. We assist allied groups in drafting bills and amendments and by communicating with legislators and staff.
6. We alert our members when it’s time to weigh in on bills by calling or writing letters.
Of the bills we favor, these 13 are ones that we actively SUPPORT:
AB 102: This bill helps create a skilled workforce for subcontractors. It would specify that “high school,” for purposes of a College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) partnership, includes a community school or juvenile court school. The bill would authorize county offices of education to enter into CCAP partnerships with the governing boards of community college districts in accordance with these provisions. The bill would extend the provisions authorizing CCAP partnerships indefinitely.
AB 246: Under current law, willful or deliberate disregard by a licensed contractor of various state building, labor, and safety laws constitutes a cause for disciplinary action by the board. This bill would add illegal dumping to the list of violations that constitute a cause for disciplinary action against a contractor by the board. The Governor signed the bill.
AB 299: Would establish the California Apprenticeship Grant Program, commencing with the 2022–23 academic year, under the administration of the office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, to provide grants to encourage high school pupils, community college students, and employed and unemployed workers seeking to go into career technical education and vocational professions through participation in qualifying, state-approved apprenticeship programs.
AB 712: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, sponsor of this bill, writes, "Existing limits on delegated authority for change orders has not kept pace with current construction markets or the need for flexibility in delivering large-scale projects. On large-scale projects, the threshold requiring a board of supervisors' approval is easily and often exceeded, resulting in delays of two months or more. This time is critical to project delivery schedules and can increase the cost of projects
significantly. Additionally, inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the delegated authority for change orders or additions on construction contracts, which have not been raised since 2010. The maximum change order amounts under these delegated authorities particularly hamper the ability of the county to deliver large-scale construction contracts in an efficient and timely manner. AB 712 will help expedite Los Angeles County's construction projects by updating the change order limits to reflect changes from inflation and in the size and scale of construction project. This authorization would be applicable for up to seven projects and sunsets on January 1, 2027.” It was supported by County of Los Angeles, Construction Employers Association, Associated General Contractors – California Chapters.
AB 899: Current law authorizes a person who is not licensed as a contractor to advertise for construction work or a work of improvement covered by existing law only if the aggregate contract price for labor, material, and all other items on a project or undertaking is less than $500, and the person states in the advertisement that they are not a licensed contractor. This bill would require the Contractors State License Board to annually adjust the $500 amount by regulation to reflect the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index or other method of measuring the rate of inflation that the board determines is reliable and generally accepted. The $500 threshold hasn’t been changed in 25 years.
AB 930: Current law provides a comprehensive set of safety measures designed to prevent excavators from inadvertently coming into contact with, or damaging, subsurface installations. These installations—which include underground gas lines—are costly to repair and can require service interruptions. When an excavator damages a subsurface installation in the course of an excavation, the law authorizes the operator to seek damages for the damaged installation, unless the damage resulted from the operator’s or the operator’s agent’s own inaccurate marking of the installation’s location.
This bill would award attorney fees and costs to an excavator in a lawsuit or arbitration arising from damage to an operator’s subsurface installation in two circumstances: (1) when the court determines that the damage was the result of the operator’s inaccurate marking of the location, or (2) the excavator made a settlement offer that the operator rejected, and the operator did not obtain a more favorable result at trial or the arbitration.
AB 1561: This is follow up legislation to the infamous AB 5 (Gonzalez)
of 2019. It refines the exemption from the ABC test and extends the sunset for the exemption of subcontractors in the construction trucking industry who meet specified criteria to January 1, 2025 in order to confirm their compliance with AB 5.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 23: This measure would promote awareness of the problem of suicide facing the men and women within California’s construction industry populations by proclaiming March 18, 2021, as Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Awareness Day in California.
SB 216: This bill would until January 1, 2025, require concrete contractors holding a C-8 license, warm-air heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) contractors holding a C-20 license, or tree service contractors holding a D-49 license to also obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance even if that contractor has no employees. The bill, as of January 1, 2025, would require all licensed contractors or applicants for licensure to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance even if that contractor has no employees and would also prohibit the filing of a certificate of exemption. SB 216 was also supported by a variety of trades.
SB 304: This bill would increase the maximum aggregate contract price eligible for the minor work exemption from $500 to $1,000, and would prohibit a person from using the exemption if they employ any workers to perform services for which a license is required.
SB 607: Licenses and regulates contractors and home improvement salespersons. Requires, as a condition of issuance, reinstatement, reactivation, renewal, or continued maintenance of a license, an applicant or licensee must file or have on file, a contractor’s bond in the sum of $15,000.
SB 757: According to the Author, “Roof-top home solar is an essential part of California’s climate goals. Unfortunately, some solar customers have been taken advantage of by bad actors. In 2019-2020 the Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) received an average of 90 new complaints a month alleging misrepresentation, fraud, or abandonment. CSLB referred 122 of those cases that were substantiated and unsettled to legal action. Non-English speakers and seniors are most commonly targeted by bad actors misrepresenting these improvements as free or low cost, when they are actually significant investments.
This bill will give consumers more protections and transparency around solar installation. Although solar is often considered a home improvement, this bill will clarify solar consumers have contract cancellation rights, down payment security, and are not required to pay in full until the work is completed. This bill will also require the salesperson to disclose the contractors they are working with, so the consumer can make an informed decision.”
Senate Concurrent Resolution 16: This measure would proclaim the week of March 7, 2021, to March 13, 2021, inclusive, as Women in Construction Week.
The bill we actively OPPOSE is:
SB 727: This bill would extend, for contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2022, the direct contractor’s liability to penalties, liquidated damages, and interest owed by the subcontractor on account of failure to pay wages and benefits. ASAC’s letter of opposition stated:
This measure is sponsored by the Carpenters Union. Its next hearing will be in August. Please look for a CALL-TO-ACTION on this bill.
Count on ASAC to remain alert and involved for the benefit of ALL Subcontractors on a daily basis! As bills are constantly being amended we watch all of them every morning, send important ones to our GRC Subcommittees for review, and then take positions on them.
ASAC’s Mission is to Preserve, Protect and Defend the Rights of Subcontractors Through Legislation. As such, our hundreds of union and merit shops join in supporting and opposing bills.
Please help by remaining or becoming a valued member, volunteering to help in analyzing bills, and contributing in other ways locally. Without ASAC your rights could be abrogated!
2,473 legislative bills have been introduced this year, the first in a two year (biennial) session. Of these, 28 impact subcontractor’s businesses. We are reviewing them according to their particular subject matters. If you are a subcontractor or supplier, membership with BASA/ASAC/ASA is a necessity and vital to protecting your business, and we welcome you to take a seat at the table with the goal to sustain subcontractor/supplier protections.
ASAC is also pursuing the delays in permitting with the CA Association of Local Building Officials. We will be sponsoring a resolution in the Senate regarding same. Your survey answers will greatly help, please take the very short, 4 question survey here.
Approving change orders is a huge problem, as always. However, we haven’t been provided sufficient hard data from subcontractors to pursue a legislative fix on that, so we’ll be circulating a survey to gather hard evidence…please keep an eye out for it.
All bills may be amended numerous times as lobbyists and constituents weigh in on them. ASAC is adept at changing language in bills, supporting some and opposing others. But, when we ask for your help we’re not crying wolf, our calls to action mean we are reaching out to you, subcontractors to support your business.
There’s strength in numbers, without this protection of your business could be abrogated!
At less than $75/mo. become a member here.
End of Legislative Year 2020…
This is the final report on bills that ASAC monitored and/or lobbied during 2020.
The pandemic really disrupted the legislative process this year, as you probably know. But, rather than dwell on the virus and California’s responses to it perhaps this short overview will tell the tale:
Fortunately, construction was deemed “essential” and allowed to proceed. Unfortunately, many bills that were important and beneficial to subcontractors didn’t proceed through the process. This was initially due to edicts by the Senate and Assembly leadership for authors to cull out bills that were not “covid related” in order to focus on coping with the virus. However, hundreds of bills that weren’t covid related snuck their way through policy committees and onto the floor for vote anyway. This clogged the work load and wasted valuable time for construction bills to be heard. For instance, I waited 4 hours to virtually testify on a measure that had 300 people in line to speak. In-person lobbying was almost nonexistent and communications were solely by cell phones and email.
The construction bills that failed to move dealt with housing and density zoning, bonds, change orders, bidding, construction defects, career technical education (CTE), substitutions, license renewals, unlicensed activity, insurance coverage for business losses caused by Covid, design build, employee wages, independent worker status, attorney fees, illegal dumping, cement, false claims, and retention. In other words, all the issues that ASAC typically weighs in on.
The bills that we supported and which were signed into law follow:
SB 865 (Senator Hill, D): This bill follows up on his prior bill and improves the “call before you dig” process. It underwent several amendments and ASAC supported the measure in writing and during testimony in committee; the Governor signed it as Chapter 307, Statutes of 2020.
More specifically, SB 865 requires all new subsurface installations after January 1, 2023 to be mapped using geographic information systems (GIS) and maintained as permanent records of the operator. (“Operator” means any person, corporation, partnership, business trust, public agency, or other entity that owns, operates, or maintains a subsurface installation. An “operator” does not include an owner of real property where subsurface installations are exclusively located if they are used exclusively to furnish services on that property and the subsurface facilities are under the operation and control of that owner.)
It exempts from the GIS mapping and record keeping requirements any oil and gas flowlines three inches or less in diameter that are located within the administrative boundaries of an oil field.
It defines “flowline” to mean any pipeline that connects an oil, gas, or natural gas liquids well with a gathering line or header.
It requires an excavator discovering or causing damage to notify the Regional Notification Center (RNC) within 48 hours of discovering or causing the damage.
The two RNCs are Underground Service Alert of Northern California and Nevada, also known as USA North 811; and, Underground Service Alert of Southern California, also known as DigAlert. Collectively, the two centers are commonly referred to as 811 centers.
SB 1189 (Senator McGuire, D): The bill establishes a license for remodelers as it’s been shown that many “fixers” failed to properly construct or reconstruct portions of homes that were damaged in the wildfires; these “poachers” undermine the licensed subcontractors. We worked closely with the Contractors State License Board on this measure. It is Chapter 364, Statutes of 2020 and takes effect January 1, 2021.
SB 1159 (Senator Hill, D): Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Existing law also creates a disputable presumption that specified injuries sustained in the course of employment of a specified member of law enforcement or a specified first responder arose out of and in the course of the employment. Existing law also governs the procedures for filing a claim for workers’ compensation, including filing a claim form, and provides that an injury is presumed compensable if liability is not rejected within 90 days after the claim form is filed. Existing case law provides for how certain presumptions may be rebutted.
This bill would define “injury” for any employee to include illness or death resulting from the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under specified circumstances, until January 1, 2023. The bill would create a disputable presumption that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment and is compensable, for specified dates of injury. The bill would require an employee to exhaust their paid sick leave benefits and meet specified certification requirements before receiving any temporary disability benefits or, for police officers, firefighters, and other specified employees, a leave of absence. The bill would also make a claim relating to a COVID-19 illness presumptively compensable, as described above, after 30 days or 45 days, rather than 90 days.
Until January 1, 2023, the bill would allow for a presumption of injury for all employees whose fellow employees at their place of employment experience specified levels of positive testing, and whose employer has 5 or more employees. We interpret this to include construction employees.
According to Senator Hill, “This bill will extend a COVID-19 rebuttable presumption to both public and private sector workers. While the Governor's Executive Order was temporary, COVID-19 will be with us beyond that date.”
The purpose of the bill is to provide presumptive workers' compensation benefits to those who are "subjectively" infected at work, but who may have difficulty proving this fact. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
On an important matter, as noted in our prior Legislative Report …the need for millions of affordable homes to be built… While it, and homelessness in general, were the cornerstones of Governor Newsom’s inaugural address, the dozens of bills offering mechanisms to commence the construction brought out vociferous arguments for and against. Lenders, union skilled workforce vs. non-union labor, State vs. Local zoning and density oversight, tiny homes vs. high rises, developer vs. mom and pop auxiliary units and garage makeovers, etc. all collided and literally nothing was agreed upon. Indeed, evictions and foreclosures rose to the top of the “must do” list and that is still very controversial, as a deal was cut late in the night with the Governor to pass something; it provides for another temporary reprieve from eviction. Incidentally, Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Hannah Beth Jackson (D) launched into a blistering attack on the banks for not stepping up to the plate in the discussion; stay tuned for more on this in January!
ASAC will convene its annual meeting in the Capitol building among 15+ construction lobbyists in early 2021 to share plans for new bills. We’ve brought the group together for many years prior to bill introduction deadlines in order to “work together”. ASAC’s Mission is to “Represent Subcontractors” and these gatherings demonstrate our efforts to accomplish that mission!
ASAC’s GR Committee now has a Co-Chair. Tracy Berry from Cagwin & Dorward. She is an enthusiastic volunteer who reads the bills, opines in a timely manner and truly brings experience to the table. She and Dan McLennon Esq., GR Chair, have literally done a lot of work for all Subcontractors and are to be thanked!
If you have questions about any bill, please contact me!
Capitol Communications Group
Onward! Moving forward into our futures…
BASA, ASAC & ASA National are a united voice dedicated to improving the business environment in the construction industry, representing subcontractors before all branches (executive, legislative, judicial) and levels (federal, state, local) of government, to organizations representing other parts of the construction industry, to the news media, and others.
Any person, firm or corporation that in the normal course of business furnishes subcontract labor and/or materials to the construction industry or provides a service to such subcontractors or material suppliers is eligible for regular membership in the association
BASA, in conjunction with ASAC (ASA of California) & ASA National, offer subcontractor-tailored events and education including Members-only educational resources ranging from model contract language to risk management and marketing tools. We also offer in-person and distance-learning educational events – open to members, some free and some for greatly reduced fee. Some events that have additional option for non-members to attend - at a higher fee.
BASA is working hard to offer a balanced calendar of events that serves as educational and social – to provide connection between like-minded individuals and companies that stimulate the subcontractor’s, supplier’s and contractor’s business community. Easy technology formats also link our members to better serve their current needs.