It remains early in both Governor Tom Wolf’s term and the 2015 legislative session. Nonetheless, there is already some legislation which would impact the construction industry making the rounds in Harrisburg.
House Bill 816 seeks to make several changes to the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act. The 3 primary changes are:
(1) It adds conviction of an offense for fraudulent business practices under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4107 as a violation of the act.
(2) It changes the grading of the criminal elements of the statute by changing all violations presently categorized as third degree misdemeanors to second degree misdemeanors. It also increases anything presently classified as a second degree misdemeanor as a first degree offense.
(3) Finally, it imposes a penalty of debarment for all work with the state for 5 years if found to be in violation.
The primary sponsor of this legislation is Representative Caltagirone. It has been referred to the Committee on Labor and Industry.
Another bill introduced is House Bill 430. It attempts to make a definitional change to the Mechanic’s Lien Law by adding design professionals to the definition of “contractor”. This would allow design professionals to lien for work which is presently not permitted under the law. The biggest impact will be to allow for design professionals to lien for preparation of plans and specifications and other work which is not “incorporated” into the physical elements of the project.
Representative Truitt is the primary sponsor of HB 430; and it has also referred to the Committee on Labor and Industry.
These are two pieces of legislation worth keeping a close eye on.