PLA in focus: The war under the labor war
By Max Pizarro | February 1st, 2013 - 2:55pm
| More

A trade labor war pits Democrat against Democrat in the Assembly as the lower house wrangles over a controversial bill championed by state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

The bill, which has passed out of committee in both houses, expands the application of project labor agreements to include road and bridge projects, a no-brainer according to Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14).

“I would like Speaker Oliver to post the bill as is,” said DeAngelo, a labor leader ally Sweeney’s, who’s meeting resistance in his own party.

Opponents worry that the bill (A-3679/S-2425) would specifically unfairly punish the Laborers Union (LIUNA), by opening up projects to a broader range of trade labor bidding.

“I have concerns about the bill,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), state party chairman and chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. “There are discussions ongoing that would amend the bill and create opportunity for greater support and I encourage those efforts.”

DeAngelo strongly disagrees.

“I think the opponents don’t understand the bill, and I think they are looking to save the Laborers at the expense of other building trades,” the assemblyman said.

The PLA bill dominated discussions on the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s Walk to Washington trip.

Critics cite the Laborers' endorsement of Republican Gov. Chris Christie last month and opine off the record that Sweeney’s bill swats LIUNA leader Ray Pocino, who supports Christie’s re-election.

More than one Democrat told PolitickerNJ.com that he/she believes Sweeney is attempting to teach Pocino a lesson.

DeAngelo insisted the critics take look at the bill’s net gain for labor.

He's unlikely to find too many friends among Republicans.

“Instead of allowing the marketplace to determine the economics of construction projects, including those related to Superstorm Sandy, this bill mandates construction guidelines and creates inefficiencies," Assemblyman Tony Bucco (R-25) said in opposing the bill in committee.

"One of the Legislature’s responsibilities is to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to participate and compete. Over the course of time, controlling costs for public works projects has never been a strength of government. Our focus must be on rebuilding New Jersey and encouraging an open and competitive bidding process for all interested parties. In this bill, the ‘P’ stands for ‘preferential,’ not ‘project.’”

But Democratic Party sources late Friday said they are confident the bill will have strong support in the Democratic caucus and emphasized its import in the Hurricane Sandy rebuilding effort.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 27th

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization.” - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Paterson.

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Is there an incumbent congressman at risk in this upcoming general election?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources