Political Updates

Political Updates

Minnesota

February 2021

JOB CREATION & PROTECTION – DETERRING TAX FRAUD

Your NCSRCC Minnesota Political Team continues to make inroads to deter tax fraud in the construction industry. Our work in the Fall 2020 municipal elections has created more labor-friendly city councils that are ready to find solutions to the bidding disadvantage good companies have versus those utilizing a tax fraud model. More details will be coming shortly on our efforts to get ahead of this problem.

Until then, review the latest study on the costs of wage theft/tax fraud in the Midwest construction industry. The study classifies 20 percent of Minnesota’s construction workforce as victims of wage theft, with those workers earning 36 percent less in wage and fringe benefits than the rest of the industry. This costs our state $136 million in state revenue. The study is linked below. 

Construction Wage Theft Costs WI, MN, & IL Taxpayers $362 Million a Year 

FEDERAL UPDATE

The Biden administration did not start out as we had hoped with the executive order to stop the Keystone XL pipeline project. While the administration was fulfilling a campaign pledge, we are disappointed in this decision to lead with the announcement. However, we are hopeful that the administration pivots quickly to a significant relief bill that includes billions of dollars in infrastructure funding to help facilitate other work opportunities for our members.

This administration will make hundreds of decisions including pushing legislation, and appointing cabinet members and other decision makers that will affect our members. We will do everything we can to make sure those decisions are made in the best interest of our members.

STATE UPDATE 

In St. Paul, the legislature is working with the governor on the state budget. There are several issues that we are following closely. Our top priorities will always be creating job opportunities for members and standing up for labor standards. This session, we will advocate for transportation funding, a capital investment bill, and housing and energy bills that contain prevailing wage provisions. We will likely see the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) advocate to allow 16- and 17-year-olds on construction sites. There are also some bills around OSHA and the Department of Labor that we will monitor and support.  

Our Political Department is planning our annual Legislative Conferences around the Regional Council during the pandemic. We are planning to coordinate a program virtually as most of our state capitols are not allowing visitors. Once we set a date, that information will be communicated out to all Locals. 

WORK BOOTS TO WINGTIPS CANDIDATE BOOTCAMP 

Have you ever thought about running for office? Would you like to get more involved in campaigns that benefit our union? NCSRCC will hold “Work Boots to Wingtips” Candidate Bootcamp in Pewaukee, Wisconsin later this summer. Please contact Kim Nelson at knelson@ncsrcc.org if you are interested.