TRENTON – The Assembly Labor Committee unanimously released bill A2384, which would prohibit contractors and subcontractors who have committed violations regarding wages, benefits and taxes from receiving public works contracts.
The law focuses on violations committed in the prior three years.
One of the sponsors of the bill, Dan Benson, (D-14), of Hamilton said the bill provides more “teeth” to make sure unscrupulous contractors are not being supported with public funds, especially since a massive rebuilding is bound to follow with all the damages caused by superstorm Sandy.
“It provides incentives for contractors to follow the law,” Benson said. “There will be a greater penalty for not doing so.”
Under the bill, contractors found in violation of the three previously-mentioned areas cannot work on public projects for three years. Currently, the punishment that contractors face is at the discretion of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Amendments were added stating that the violation have to have occured “on two or more public contracts.”
Benson went on to say that “New Jersey has plenty of contractors who play by the rules for the protection of our workers and taxpayers. They are the ones who deserve support. However, we do have bad actors out there that do have multiple violations.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Nelson Albano and Troy Singleton.
Only the New Jersey Business and Industry Association expressed some concern that the bill may shut out contractors for seemingly minor violations.