HB 996

84(R) - 2015
House Economic & Small Business Development
House Economic & Small Business Development

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Tan Parker

Bill Caption

Relating to the effect of certain agreements with a collective bargaining organization on certain state-funded public work contracts.

Fiscal Notes

A fiscal year dated March 20, 2015 anticipates no fiscal implication to the State or to units of local government.

Bill Analysis

House Bill 996 would amend Subchapter T, Chapter 51 of the Education Code related to the construction and repair of permanent improvements to add a section on agreement with collective bargaining organizations.

The newly created section would define "public work contract" as a contract for constructing, altering, or repairing a public building or carrying out or completing any public work. It would prevent an institution of higher education awarding a public contract funded with state money to prohibit, require, discourage, or encourage a person bidding on the public work contract from entering into or adhering to an agreement with a collective bargaining organization relating to the project. It would also prevent the institution from discriminating against such a person on the basis of his adherence or not to such an agreement.

A similar section would be added to Subchapter B, Chapter 2269 of the Government Code related to the general powers and duties regarding contracting and delivery procedures for construction projects.

Vote Recommendation Notes

House Bill 996 would require that institutions of higher education and governmental entities, when awarding public work contract funded by state money, do not in any way take into consideration the participation or not of the bidders in an agreement with a collective bargaining organization.

According to the statement of purpose for House Bill 996, project labor agreements are increasingly being used across the United States to force governmental entities to award contracts to unionized companies. Project labor agreements, or PLAs require that a construction project be awarded only to contractors and subcontractors that agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees, use the union hall to find workers, follow the unions' work rules and contribute to union pension plans that benefit only those that join the union. PLAs often make a contract more expensive as a result of all these restrictions and conditions.

While PLAs have not been used often in Texas, they have been increasingly used in other states. House Bill 996 would prevent that governmental entities awarding public work contracts funded by state money be forced into such agreements.

Governmental entities should focus on the company that would be able to complete the public work contract the best way possible for the best value to the governmental entity, and hence the taxpayers, regardless of whether the company is unionized or not. As a consequence, House Bill 996 would encourage governmental entities to look for efficiency and cost savings, and hence would favor a limited government. As a consequence, we support House Bill 996.