Singleton, Benson & Albano Bill to Ensure Only Upstanding Contractors Receive Public Works Contracts Released by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Daniel R. Benson and Nelson Albano to protect taxpayers and the public interest by ensuring only upstanding contractors and subcontractors receive public works contracts was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-2384) prohibits contractors or subcontractors convicted in the three previous years of three or more violations of state wage, benefit and tax laws on two public contracts from registering as a public works contractor.
“Any contractor or subcontractor that was convicted of three or more violations of wage, benefit and tax laws in any of the previous three years should not be permitted to bid on any contract for public work in New Jersey,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “We need to protect our workers, the public and taxpayer money, especially with so many public works projects likely in the coming months following Sandy. Companies that don’t think twice about violating wage, benefit and tax laws are quite simply undeserving of the public’s support.”
The bill was released by the Assembly Labor Committee, and the sponsors noted the bill is particularly timely in light of the large amount of rebuilding that will be required after the devastation Hurricane Sandy. The recovery will require substantial investment in public works, and this bill will be an essential tool in safeguarding the quality of that work, they said.
“This is a simple concept – if you repeatedly violate our laws, then you cannot be trusted to benefit from public works contracts,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “New Jersey has plenty of contractors who play by the rules for the protection of our workers and taxpayers. They are the ones who deserve support.”
“This would protect workers in New Jersey by ensuring contractors and subcontractors on public works projects don’t have a significant history of committing wage and hour violations,” said Albano (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “It would also help ensure the public that their taxpayer dollars spent on public works go to contractors that do the right thing, supporting employment here in the state and ensuring the quality of the labor performed on public works projects.”