AUGUSTA—A bill sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, authorizing the use of project labor agreements in public works projects was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday. The new law – LD 1564, “An Act To Authorize Project Labor Agreements for Public Works Projects” – gives public authorities complete discretion to determine when to enter a Project Labor Agreement on a project-by-project basis.
“The use of project labor agreements in public works projects benefit the state, taxpayers and workers. It ensures tax dollars are spent wisely, ensures projects are completed on time and under budget, and ensures that workers are paid fair wages and treated appropriately on the job,” said President Jackson. “I’m grateful that the governor has signed this bill into law, and I hope it signals to working Mainers that we are a state that prioritizes quality, safety and fairness in the workplace.”
Pre-agreements improve safety, reduce risks of worker misclassification. These agreements also reduce chances projects will run over budget or past deadline. A pre-agreement can be constructed with a union or private entity. Project labor agreements also can include provisions to secure much-needed apprenticeships in the trades. These agreements often include training programs for women, minorities and veterans. Due to the benefits of project labor agreements, many private sector companies also choose to enter into them, including Toyota and Walmart as well as large construction firms.
LD 1564 will take effect 90 days after the final adjournment of the legislative session. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on June 19.