Inside this issue
  ABC meets with Labor Secretary on Apprenticeship regulations  
  ABC Delaware contractor members with Delaware Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade to discuss upcoming regulations associated with the passage of SB 48.  This bill mandated that all contractors must be in a federally or state approved apprenticeship program to bid on state funded construction projects.  The proposed regulations mirror those from New Jersey who have a similar law in place.  ABC is supportive of using the New Jersey regulation as a concept but not in a word for word transfer.  There is a key difference. The New jersey law includes the language that requires "participation in a registered apprenticeship program for each craft they employ". Delaware SB-48 (SS1 to SB48) does not include any similar language. ABC is supportive of a requirement that would be similar to the New Castle County law of one apprentice per company.
Another point of discussion was item number 3 and 4 of the New Jersey regulation. Number three allows for participation to be defined as, "The contractor is the sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program;" and number 4 defines participation as, "The contractor currently employs at least one apprentice who is registered with the USDOL within a registered apprenticeship program. Those definitions or similar language need to be in the regulation for SB 48. These regulations are defining a pathway to compliance with SB 48. There needs to be options for compliance. Without those options, everyone is forced into a consortium. ABC doesn't believe this was the intent of the legislation when it was discussed and passed.  Discussions with the Secretary will continue and members will have the opportunity to share their views when public comment opens.


  HB 291- Apprenticeship Incentive program introduced  
  The Delaware House of Representatives introduced HB 291 before going into recess for six weeks that would give apprenticeship sponsors a $5,000 one time incentive for being in the program. This bill is hoping to create an incentive for employers to train and retain apprentices. The purpose of this financial incentive is to encourage employers to create employment opportunities in Delaware and to train Delaware's workforce to qualify for those employment opportunities.  This payment would be per company and not per apprentice.  The funds will be distributed by the Delaware Division of Small Business. Employers will not be eligible until after completing a 6-month probationary period.  The bill is awaiting a hearing in the House Labor committee when they return to session in late March.  For a full copy of the legislation, please click here.  


  ABC testifies before Joint Finance Committee on Apprenticeship  
  ABC Delaware President Ed Capodanno testified this month in favor of the Delaware Department of Education requesting additional funding in Governor John Carney's budget for apprenticeship training.  The budget request would help to add additional apprenticeship programs in Kent and Sussex counties to ensure that all three counties are offering the same opportunities.  Currently, New Castle offers 11 programs, Kent offers 6 and Sussex offers 4.  "ABC supports apprenticeship training and providing a quality workforce.  In order to ensure fairness and compliance by Kent/Sussex contractors, additional funds are needed so all trades are offered statewide." Capodanno said. "We must ensure that all contractors who are actively seeking to comply with this law will have the opportunity.  That does not exist under the current model." For a full copy of Capodanno's testimony, click here. Thanks also goes to Chris Baker from George and Lynch and Lyle Humpton from Master Interiors who also testified.  


  Governor unveils state budget and bond bill  
  Governor John Carney revealed his spending plan for the next fiscal year that starts in July 2020. The spending plan is the biggest project that lawmakers and Gov. Carney have to finalize and agree on before their June 30 deadline.

The plan funds everything from schools, health care, state worker salaries and transportation projects. The Governor also reiterated his commitment to holding budget growth with an eye on the future by keeping growth below the DEFAC benchmark (under 4% for this year). While our economy is currently strong, the budget continues to set aside money for the future ($161 million in total-just under $40 million this year) and using one-time money for one-time projects. The bond bill appropriation is the highest ever, with over $892 million allocated to capital improvements. Last year's Bond Bill cost nearly $863 million.

The Joint Finance and Bond Bill committees later this year will draft the state's official spending plans based on Carney's suggestions. They'll hold hearings in February and March to talk about the fiscal measures with government agencies and other stakeholders. By June 30, which is the deadline for all bills this legislative year, all of Delaware's 62 lawmakers will vote on whether to make it the official spending plan.

For a copy of the Governor's recommended recommended Bond Bill, click here.


  Labor Secretary to speak to Kent/Sussex Members  
  You are invited to join ABC Delaware & DOL Secretary Cerron Cade to discuss the mandatory apprenticeship and contractor registration (workplace fraud) legislation that passed the General Assembly in 2019 and will go into effect on September 1, 2020.
WHEN: March 31 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. 

WHERE: Meeting Room A inside the Student Services Center at Del Tech Community College, Jack F. Owens Campus, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown, Delaware 19947.
 Come find out how to comply with both laws and get your questions answered from the agency that will enforce the laws. All contractors who do state and private work will be affected and should attend.


  US House Caves to Big Labor by Passing PRO Act  
  The deceptively named Protecting the Right to Organize Act, H.R. 2474, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 224 to 194.  Among its many proposed changes, the PRO Act would allow employees to form unions under certain circumstances through "card check" (that is, through the informal collection of authorization forms from a majority within the bargaining unit), especially in cases where employer interference is suspected. The bill would also grant the National Labor Relations Board power to levy punitive fines on employers that violate labor law. Right now, the NLRB can collect only back pay. The bill would also make it harder for employers to classify workers as independent contractors and would make it nearly impossible for states to enforce right-to-work laws. 
ABC National Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen issued the following statement: "This big labor wish list was passed at the expense of workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses by the Democrat-controlled House, and seeks to hamper growth of the U.S. construction sector, which supports more than 7.5 million jobs. Violating privacy rights, eliminating choice and diminishing the freedom of construction employees in order to shift the advantage toward forced unionization would fundamentally harm our nation's businesses and curb opportunities for hardworking Americans."

ABC Delaware will be holding a seminar on this topic.  It is set for March 19th from 8:30 - 10 a.m. in our classroom.  To register for this seminar, please click here.


  Have you given to ABC National PAC?  

The purpose of ABC Political Action Committee (PAC) is to work within the federal election process to further the goals of the association through direct involvement in supporting and opposing candidates for the Office of President, United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. This is accomplished through educating our members on the importance of political activism and through financial support of merit shop candidates.

ABC's PAC is your voice in elective politics. ABC PAC members' contributions are combined with others to jointly support candidates. This provides a unified and powerful voice for the merit agenda. It is also an opportunity to participate in one of the largest pro-business PACs in the nation. Contributions to ABC PAC are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions to ABC PAC are for political purposes. If you would like to contribute, please click here.  The password once you enter the site is ABCPAC. 



Pro-Act Seminar

March 19
8:30 - 10 a.m.
ABC Office
Click here to register

Legislative Committee

March 26

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

ABC Boardroom

DOL Secretary Meeting

March 31

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Delaware Tech Georgetown

Click here to register

ABC HobNob

April 30

11:30 a.m - 1 p.m.

The Green across from Legislative Hall

Click here to register