Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Governor's Bill No. 793

January Session, 2017

 

LCO No. 3725

 

*03725__________*

Referred to Committee on PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.

SEN. DUFF, 25th Dist.

REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th Dist.

REP. RITTER M., 1st Dist.

 

AN ACT CONCERNING FAIRNESS FOR MUNICIPALITIES AND LOCAL TAXPAYERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-440 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2017):

(a) Each member shall contribute to the fund five per cent of [his] the member's pay as to that portion of pay with respect to which contributions are not to be deducted under section 7-453 and two and one-quarter per cent as to that portion of pay with respect to which contributions are to be so deducted, to be deducted from such pay by the municipality and forwarded not less frequently than once a month to the Retirement Commission to be credited to the fund. A municipality may require members to contribute a percentage of pay above that required by this subsection, except that any member who is represented by a collective bargaining unit shall contribute only the percentage required under this subsection until any additional percentage is required by a new or successor collective bargaining agreement executed on or after July 1, 2017, that is applicable to the member. In the case of members serving with the armed forces of the United States in time of war, hostilities or national emergency or any acts incident thereto, as provided in section 7-434, the municipality shall forward to the Retirement Commission to be credited to the fund a like contribution on behalf of such member based upon [his] the member's pay at the time of entering such service.

(b) Any member leaving the employment of the municipality before becoming eligible for retirement may withdraw on request to the Retirement Commission the total of all contributions made by [him] the member, including contributions made to another system and transferred to the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund under the provisions of section 7-442b, less any retroactive contributions payable by such member under section 7-453 to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance System which have been paid from the fund under the provisions of section 7-451, provided, if no request is made within ten years, such contributions shall revert to the fund. The withdrawal of contributions shall include interest credited from July 1, 1983, or the first of the fiscal year following the date of actual contribution, whichever is later, to the first of the fiscal year coincident with or preceding the date the employee leaves municipal service. Such interest shall be credited at the rate of five per cent per year. In addition, for the partial year during which the employee leaves municipal service or withdraws [his] the member's contributions, whichever is later, interest shall be credited at the rate of five-twelfths of one per cent multiplied by the full number of months completed during that year, such interest rate to be applied to the value of contributions including any prior interest credits as of the first day of that year. Any employee who withdraws [his] the member's contributions from the fund and is subsequently reinstated shall not receive credit for service for such prior employment in the computation of [his] the member's eventual retirement allowance unless the withdrawn contributions plus interest, if any, have been repaid with additional interest at a rate to be determined by the commission. Any municipality which has made contributions on behalf of any member serving in the armed forces who is not reemployed by the municipality within six months following the termination of such service, unless this period is further extended by reason of disability incurred in such service, shall be entitled to receive from the fund on application to the Retirement Commission the amount of such contributions. Any municipality which has made contributions in accordance with subsection (b) of section 7-436b on behalf of any member who leaves the employment of the municipality and withdraws from the municipal employees' retirement system before becoming eligible for retirement shall be entitled to receive from the fund on application to the Retirement Commission the amount of such contributions.

(c) In case of the death of a member before retirement, who has not elected a retirement income option in accordance with the provisions of this part or who has made such election but has not completed the age and service requirements that would permit [him] the member to retire on [his] the member's own application, or after retirement without having made such election, or in case of the death of the survivor of a member who has made such election and [his] the member's spouse after a retirement allowance has become payable, [his] the member's contributions to the fund plus such five per cent interest, if any, less any retirement allowance paid to [him or his] the member or the member's spouse, and less any retroactive contributions paid by such member to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance System which have been paid from the fund under the provisions of section 7-451, shall be paid from the fund on the order of the Retirement Commission to the beneficiary or beneficiaries, if any, named by such member. If no named beneficiaries survive the member, or the survivor of the member and [his] the member's spouse, payment shall be made to the executors or administrators of such member or [his] the member's spouse, as the case may be, except that, if the amount is less than five hundred dollars, the refund may be made, at the option of the Retirement Commission, in accordance with the terms of section 45a-273.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 7-473c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2017):

(b) (1) If neither the municipal employer nor the municipal employee organization has requested the arbitration services of the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration (A) within one hundred eighty days after the certification or recognition of a newly certified or recognized municipal employee organization required to commence negotiations pursuant to section 7-473a, or (B) within thirty days after the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, or within thirty days after the specified date for implementation of reopener provisions in an existing collective bargaining agreement, or within thirty days after the date the parties to an existing collective bargaining agreement commence negotiations to revise said agreement on any matter affecting wages, hours, and other conditions of employment, said board shall notify the municipal employer and municipal employee organization that one hundred eighty days have passed since the certification or recognition of the newly certified or recognized municipal employee organization, or that thirty days have passed since the specified date for implementation of reopener provisions in an existing agreement, or the date the parties commenced negotiations to revise an existing agreement on any matter affecting wages, hours and other conditions of employment or the expiration of such collective bargaining agreement and that binding and final arbitration is now imposed on them, provided written notification of such imposition shall be sent by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, to each party.

(2) Within ten days of receipt of the written notification required pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, the chief executive officer of the municipal employer and the executive head of the municipal employee organization each shall select one member of the arbitration panel or provide written notice to the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration of the parties' mutual intent to have a single, neutral arbitrator. Within five days of [their appointment, the two members of the arbitration panel shall select a third member, who shall be an impartial representative of the interests of the public in general and who shall be selected] the appointment of two members of the panel or of the notice made pursuant to this subsection, the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall randomly appoint a neutral arbitrator from the panel of neutral arbitrators appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. [Such third] The neutral member shall be the chairperson of the panel. All references to a panel or chairperson in this section shall also be a reference to a single, neutral arbitrator appointed pursuant to this subsection.

(3) In the event that the municipal employer or the municipal employee organization have not selected their respective members of the arbitration panel or [the two members of the panel have not selected the third member] the parties have not provided notice of their intent to have the arbitration heard by a single, neutral arbitrator, the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall appoint such members as are needed to complete the panel, provided (A) the member or members so appointed are residents of this state, and (B) the selection of the [third member of the panel] neutral arbitrator by the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall be made at random from among the members of the panel of neutral arbitrators appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 3. Subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 10-153f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2017):

(c) (1) On the fourth day next following the end of the mediation session or on the one hundred thirty-fifth day prior to the budget submission date, whichever is sooner, the commissioner shall order the parties to report their settlement of the dispute or, if there is no settlement, to notify the commissioner of either their agreement to submit their dispute to a single arbitrator appointed at random by the State Department of Education from the panel pursuant to subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, or the name of the arbitrator selected by each of them. Within five days of providing such notice, the parties shall notify the commissioner of the name of the arbitrator if there is an [agreement on a single arbitrator appointed to the panel pursuant to subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section or] agreement on the third arbitrator appointed to the panel pursuant to [said] subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section. The commissioner may order the parties to appear before said commissioner during the arbitration period. If the parties have notified the commissioner of their agreement to submit their dispute to a single arbitrator and they have not agreed on such arbitrator, within five days after such notification, the commissioner shall select such single arbitrator who shall be an impartial representative of the interests of the public in general. If each party has notified the commissioner of the name of the arbitrator it has selected and the parties have not agreed on the third arbitrator, within five days after such notification, the commissioner shall select a third arbitrator, who shall be an impartial representative of the interests of the public in general. If either party fails to notify the commissioner of the name of an arbitrator, the commissioner shall select an arbitrator to serve and the commissioner shall also select a third arbitrator who shall be an impartial representative of the interests of the public in general. Any selection pursuant to this section by the commissioner of an impartial arbitrator shall be made at random from among the members appointed under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section. Arbitrators shall be selected from the panel appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and shall receive a per diem fee determined on the basis of the prevailing rate for such services. Whenever a panel of three arbitrators is selected, the chairperson of such panel shall be the impartial representative of the interests of the public in general.

Sec. 4. Section 31-53 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2017):

(a) Each contract for the construction, remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project by the state or any of its agents, or by any political subdivision of the state or any of its agents, shall contain the following provision: "The wages paid on an hourly basis to any person performing the work of any mechanic, laborer or worker on the work herein contracted to be done and the amount of payment or contribution paid or payable on behalf of each such person to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, shall be at a rate equal to the rate customary or prevailing for the same work in the same trade or occupation in the town in which such public works project is being constructed. Any contractor who is not obligated by agreement to make payment or contribution on behalf of such persons to any such employee welfare fund shall pay to each mechanic, laborer or worker as part of such person's wages the amount of payment or contribution for such person's classification on each pay day."

(b) Any contractor or subcontractor who knowingly or wilfully employs any mechanic, laborer or worker in the construction, remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project for or on behalf of the state or any of its agents, or any political subdivision of the state or any of its agents, at a rate of wage on an hourly basis that is less than the rate customary or prevailing for the same work in the same trade or occupation in the town in which such public works project is being constructed, remodeled, refinished, refurbished, rehabilitated, altered or repaired, or who fails to pay the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of each such person to any employee welfare fund, or in lieu thereof to the person, as provided by subsection (a) of this section, shall be fined not less than two thousand five hundred dollars but not more than five thousand dollars for each offense and (1) for the first violation, shall be disqualified from bidding on contracts with the state or any political subdivision until the contractor or subcontractor has made full restitution of the back wages owed to such persons and for an additional six months thereafter, and (2) for subsequent violations, shall be disqualified from bidding on contracts with the state or any political subdivision until the contractor or subcontractor has made full restitution of the back wages owed to such persons and for not less than an additional two years thereafter. In addition, if it is found by the contracting officer representing the state or political subdivision of the state that any mechanic, laborer or worker employed by the contractor or any subcontractor directly on the site for the work covered by the contract has been or is being paid a rate of wages less than the rate of wages required by the contract to be paid as required by this section, the state or contracting political subdivision of the state may (A) by written or electronic notice to the contractor, terminate such contractor's right to proceed with the work or such part of the work as to which there has been a failure to pay said required wages and to prosecute the work to completion by contract or otherwise, and the contractor and the contractor's sureties shall be liable to the state or the contracting political subdivision for any excess costs occasioned the state or the contracting political subdivision thereby, or (B) withhold payment of money to the contractor or subcontractor. The contracting department of the state or the political subdivision of the state shall, not later than two days after taking such action, notify the Labor Commissioner, in writing or electronically, of the name of the contractor or subcontractor, the project involved, the location of the work, the violations involved, the date the contract was terminated, and steps taken to collect the required wages.

(c) The Labor Commissioner may make complaint to the proper prosecuting authorities for the violation of any provision of subsection (b) of this section.

(d) For the purpose of predetermining the prevailing rate of wage on an hourly basis and the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of each person to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, in each town where such contract is to be performed, the Labor Commissioner shall (1) hold a hearing at any required time to determine the prevailing rate of wages on an hourly basis and the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of each person to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, upon any public work within any specified area, and shall establish classifications of skilled, semiskilled and ordinary labor, or (2) adopt and use such appropriate and applicable prevailing wage rate determinations as have been made by the Secretary of Labor of the United States under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended.

(e) The Labor Commissioner shall determine the prevailing rate of wages on an hourly basis and the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of such person to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, in each locality where any such public work is to be constructed, and the agent empowered to let such contract shall contact the Labor Commissioner, at least ten but not more than twenty days prior to the date such contracts will be advertised for bid, to ascertain the proper rate of wages and amount of employee welfare fund payments or contributions and shall include such rate of wage on an hourly basis and the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of each person to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, or in lieu thereof the amount to be paid directly to each person for such payment or contributions as provided in subsection (a) of this section for all classifications of labor in the proposal for the contract. The rate of wage on an hourly basis and the amount of payment or contributions to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, or cash in lieu thereof, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, shall, at all times, be considered as the minimum rate for the classification for which it was established. Prior to the award of any contract, purchase order, bid package or other designation subject to the provisions of this section, such agent shall certify to the Labor Commissioner, either in writing or electronically, the total dollar amount of work to be done in connection with such public works project, regardless of whether such project consists of one or more contracts. Upon the award of any contract subject to the provisions of this section, the contractor to whom such contract is awarded shall certify, under oath, to the Labor Commissioner the pay scale to be used by such contractor and any of the contractor's subcontractors for work to be performed under such contract.

(f) Each employer subject to the provisions of this section or section 31-54 shall (1) keep, maintain and preserve such records relating to the wages and hours worked by each person performing the work of any mechanic, laborer and worker and a schedule of the occupation or work classification at which each person performing the work of any mechanic, laborer or worker on the project is employed during each work day and week in such manner and form as the Labor Commissioner establishes to assure the proper payments due to such persons or employee welfare funds under this section or section 31-54, regardless of any contractual relationship alleged to exist between the contractor and such person, provided such employer shall have the option of keeping, maintaining and preserving such records in an electronic format, and (2) submit monthly to the contracting agency by mail, electronic mail or other method accepted by such agency, a certified payroll that shall consist of a complete copy of such records accompanied by a statement signed by the employer that indicates (A) such records are correct; (B) the rate of wages paid to each person performing the work of any mechanic, laborer or worker and the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of each such person to any employee welfare fund, as defined in subsection (i) of this section, are not less than the prevailing rate of wages and the amount of payment or contributions paid or payable on behalf of each such person to any employee welfare fund, as determined by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, and not less than those required by the contract to be paid; (C) the employer has complied with the provisions of this section and section 31-54; (D) each such person is covered by a workers' compensation insurance policy for the duration of such person's employment, which shall be demonstrated by submitting to the contracting agency the name of the workers' compensation insurance carrier covering each such person, the effective and expiration dates of each policy and each policy number; (E) the employer does not receive kickbacks, as defined in 41 USC 52, from any employee or employee welfare fund; and (F) pursuant to the provisions of section 53a-157a, the employer is aware that filing a certified payroll which the employer knows to be false is a class D felony for which the employer may be fined up to five thousand dollars, imprisoned for up to five years, or both. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit a general contractor from relying on the certification of a lower tier subcontractor, provided the general contractor shall not be exempted from the provisions of section 53a-157a if the general contractor knowingly relies upon a subcontractor's false certification. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-210, the certified payroll shall be considered a public record and every person shall have the right to inspect and copy such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212. The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of section 31-59 and sections 31-66 and 31-69 that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section or section 31-54 apply to this section. Failing to file a certified payroll pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection is a class D felony for which the employer may be fined up to five thousand dollars, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.

(g) Any contractor who is required by the Labor Department to make any payment as a result of a subcontractor's failure to pay wages or benefits, or any subcontractor who is required by the Labor Department to make any payment as a result of a lower tier subcontractor's failure to pay wages or benefits, may bring a civil action in the Superior Court to recover no more than the damages sustained by reason of making such payment, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

(h) The provisions of this section do not apply where the total cost of all work to be performed by all contractors and subcontractors in connection with new construction of any public works project is less than [four hundred thousand] one million dollars or where the total cost of all work to be performed by all contractors and subcontractors in connection with any remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project is less than [one] five hundred thousand dollars.

(i) As used in this section and section 31-54, "employee welfare fund" means any trust fund established by one or more employers and one or more labor organizations or one or more other third parties not affiliated with the employers to provide from moneys in the fund, whether through the purchase of insurance or annuity contracts or otherwise, benefits under an employee welfare plan; provided such term shall not include any such fund where the trustee, or all of the trustees, are subject to supervision by the Banking Commissioner of this state or any other state or the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and "benefits under an employee welfare plan" means one or more benefits or services under any plan established or maintained for persons performing the work of any mechanics, laborers or workers or their families or dependents, or for both, including, but not limited to, medical, surgical or hospital care benefits; benefits in the event of sickness, accident, disability or death; benefits in the event of unemployment, or retirement benefits.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2017

7-440

Sec. 2

July 1, 2017

7-473c(b)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2017

10-153f(c)(1)

Sec. 4

July 1, 2017

31-53

Statement of Purpose:

To implement the Governor's budget recommendations.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]