Project labor agreement mandates inflate cost of construction 13%

Ohio schools built under government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) cost 13.12 percent more than schools that were bid and constructed through fair and open competition.

May 25, 2017 |

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A study released today by the Beacon Hill Institute found that Ohio schools built under government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) cost 13.12 percent more than schools that were bid and constructed through fair and open competition, free from PLA requirements. The study looked at 88 schools built in Ohio since 2000 and found that those built under a PLA mandate cost $23.12 more per square foot than projects built without PLA mandates.

“The study released today by the Beacon Hill Institute corroborates past academic research that shows that anti-competitive government-mandated PLAs prevent taxpayers from getting the best return on their investment,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “All taxpayers deserve efficient, accountable and effective construction spending and investment in schools and infrastructure free from special-interest handouts that discourage competition from qualified, local workers and contractors.”

“Associated Builders and Contractors encourages Ohio lawmakers to join the 23 pro-taxpayer states that have passed measures that ensure government neutrality toward PLAs,” said Brubeck. “Additionally, ABC encourages President Trump to rescind President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which promotes costly PLA mandates on federal and federally assisted construction projects, and replace it with a common-sense policy that would guarantee fair and open competition from America’s best construction companies and create opportunities for America’s entire skilled construction workforce as Washington considers a federal infrastructure plan.”

The full study, Project Labor Agreements and the Cost of School Construction in Ohio, is available on the Beacon Hill Institute's website.

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