Senate to vote on public works projects bill Monday

TRENTON – The Senate will hold a one-bill voting session on Monday.

The bill, which would allow more public works projects to be covered by public labor agreements, takes on significance in light of post-Sandy reconstruction projects that already are getting under way.

“Since construction post-Sandy is already starting to happen, the Senate President wants to act as quickly as possible on the bill so that these jobs can go to people in New Jersey,” said spokesman Chris Donnelly today.

However, there was partisan debate regarding S2425 when it advanced out of committee early this month. The vote was 8-4-1, with the no votes and the lone abstention coming from Republicans.

Opponents of the bill, which included the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, argued at the committee hearing that while all companies – union or non-union – should bid on public contracts, the change this bill calls for would ultimately raise the cost of projects.

But several representatives of labor groups spoke in support of the bill, which is sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney. They argued the bill is a pro-New Jersey bill, saying it puts New Jerseyans back to work.

Earlier story:

Bill to increase scope of public labor agreements advances

Senate to vote on public works projects bill Monday