SENATE, No. 2015

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2024 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Corrado, Singer, Burzichelli, Amato, McKnight and Space

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns prevailing wage law requirements for public institutions of higher education.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning prevailing wage law requirements for public institutions of higher education and amending various parts of the statutory law and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.26) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in this act:

     (1)   "Department" means the Department of Labor and Workforce Development of the State of New Jersey.

     (2)   "Locality" means any political subdivision of the State, combination of the same or parts thereof, or any geographical area or areas classified, designated and fixed by the commissioner from time to time, provided that in determining the "locality," the commissioner shall be guided by the boundary lines of political subdivisions or parts thereof, or by a consideration of the areas with respect to which it has been the practice of employers of particular crafts or trades to engage in collective bargaining with the representatives of workers in such craft or trade.

     (3)   "Maintenance work" means the repair of existing facilities when the size, type or extent of such facilities is not thereby changed or increased.  "Maintenance work" also means any work on a maintenance-related project that exceeds the scope of work and capabilities of in-house maintenance personnel, requires the solicitation of bids, and has an aggregate value exceeding $50,000.

     (4)   "Public body" means the State of New Jersey, any of its political subdivisions, any authority created by the Legislature of the State of New Jersey and any instrumentality or agency of the State of New Jersey or of any of its political subdivisions.

     (5)   "Public work" means construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, custom fabrication or repair work, or maintenance work, including painting and decorating, done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of the funds of a public body, or under a contract with a for-profit or not-for-profit entity associated with the public body when the for-profit or not-for-profit entity exists for the purpose of raising or managing public or private financial support, or otherwise managing real or financial assets, on behalf of the public body, such as a not-for-profit foundation associated with a public college or university, where the construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, custom fabrication or repair work, or maintenance work, including painting or decorating, undertaken under contract with the entity associated with the public body is to be used by or for the benefit of the public body; except that “public work” shall not include work performed under a rehabilitation program.  “Public work” shall include construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, custom fabrication or repair work, or maintenance work, including painting or decorating, that is paid for in whole or in part through “take-out financing” provided by a public body, whether directly or obtained through a lender.  "Public work" shall also mean construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, custom fabrication or repair work, done on any property or premises, whether or not the work is paid for from public funds, if, at the time of the entering into of the contract the property or premises is owned by the public body or under agreement to be purchased by the public body, or:

     (a)   Not less than 55% of the property or premises is leased by a public body, or is subject to an agreement to be subsequently leased by the public body; and

     (b)   The portion of the property or premises that is leased or subject to an agreement to be subsequently leased by the public body measures more than 20,000 square feet [;or].

     (6)   "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development or his duly authorized representatives.

     (7)   "Workman" or "worker" includes laborer, mechanic, skilled or semi-skilled, laborer and apprentices or helpers employed by any contractor or subcontractor and engaged in the performance of services directly upon a public work, regardless of whether their work becomes a component part thereof, but does not include material suppliers or their employees who do not perform services at the job site.  For the purpose of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.), contractors or subcontractors engaged in custom fabrication shall not be regarded as material suppliers.

     “Public work” also means any work undertaken on a project that has received financial assistance in the form of: grants; loans; loan guarantees; expenditures; investments; tax abatements, exemptions, incentives, or rebates; incentives; or other financial assistance, any of which are provided, authorized, facilitated, or administered by public bodies, or by agencies or authorities of public bodies, except that no work on a project that has received financial assistance provided, authorized, facilitated, or administered solely by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency shall be regarded as “public work” for the purposes of this section and shall not be subject to the prevailing wage requirements of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.), other than work which is subject to the prevailing wage requirements of sections 7 and 42 of P.L.1983, c.530 (C.55:14K-7 and 55:14K-42), which shall be, to the extent indicated in those sections, subject to the prevailing wage requirements of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.).

     (8)   "Work performed under a rehabilitation program" means work arranged by and at a State institution primarily for teaching and upgrading the skills and employment opportunities of the inmates of such institutions.

     (9)   "Prevailing wage" means the wage rate paid by virtue of collective bargaining agreements by employers employing a majority of workers of that craft or trade subject to said collective bargaining agreements, in the locality in which the public work is done.

     (10) "Act" means the provisions of P.L.1963, c.150
(C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) and the rules and regulations issued hereunder.

     (11) "Prevailing wage contract threshold amount" means:

     (a)   In the case of any public work paid for in whole or in part out of the funds of a municipality in the State of New Jersey or done on property or premises owned by a public body or leased or to be leased by the municipality, the dollar amount established for the then current calendar year by the commissioner through rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), which amount shall be equal to $9,850 on July 1, 1994 and which amount shall be adjusted on July 1 every five calendar years thereafter in direct proportion to the rise or fall in the average of the Consumer Price Indices for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the New York metropolitan and the Philadelphia metropolitan regions as reported by the United States Department of Labor during the last full calendar year preceding the date upon which the adjustment is made; and

     (b)   In the case of any public work other than a public work described in paragraph (a) of this subsection, an amount equal to $2,000.

     (12) "Custom fabrication" means:

     (a)   the fabrication of any of the following: plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilation or exhaust duct systems, mechanical insulation, or  one or more signs in a project which cost a total of more than $30,000 and are part of a project upon completion; or

     (b)   any other fabrication which is either of components or structures pre-fabricated to specifications for a particular project of public work or of other materials finished into components without further modification for use in a project of public work or for use in a type or classification of a project of public work.

     (13) “Take-out financing” means a long-term loan on property from a lender used to pay off or replace a short-term construction loan.

(cf: P.L.2021, c.253, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 16 of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.40) is amended to read as follows:

     16.  If any workman is paid by an employer less than the prevailing wage to which such workman is entitled, including if the public body did not award a contract that is compliant with the “New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act,” P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) to an employer when the public body was required to, under the provisions of this act such workman may recover in a civil action the full amount of such prevailing wage less any amount actually paid to him or her by the employer together with costs and such reasonable attorney's fees as may be allowed by the court, and any agreement between such workman and the employer to work for less than such prevailing wage shall be no defense to the action.  Any workman shall be entitled to maintain such action for and on behalf of himself or other workmen similarly situated, and such workman and workmen may designate an agent or representative to maintain such action for and on behalf of all workmen similarly situated.  At the request of any workman paid less than the prevailing wage to which such workman was entitled under the provisions of this act the commissioner may take an assignment of the wage claim in trust for the assigning workman and may bring any legal action necessary to collect the claim, and the employer shall be required to pay the costs and such reasonable attorney's fees as may be allowed by the court.

(cf: P.L.1963, c.150, s.16)

 

     3.    Section 1 of P.L.1996, c.71 (C.34:11-56.47) is amended to read as follows:

     1.  a.  Any person who submits a bid directly to a public body for a contract for any public work subject to the provisions of the "New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act," P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) and is not awarded the contract and whose bid is the lowest bid other than the bid accepted by the public body or, if, pursuant to law, the contract is awarded on the basis of factors other than or in addition to the lowest bid, whose bid is the highest in rank other than the bid accepted by the public body (hereinafter referred to in this section as the "plaintiff") may bring an action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction against the contractor who was directly awarded the contract by the public body or any subcontractor of that contractor (hereinafter referred to in this section as the "defendant") alleging that the defendant has, in connection with work performed pursuant to the contract, violated the provisions of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) or failed to pay any contribution, tax, assessment or benefit required by any other applicable law.  If there is more than one losing bidder, a bidder with a higher bid than the second lowest bidder or lower rank than the second highest rank, if, pursuant to law, the contract is awarded on the basis of factors other than or in addition to the lowest bid, may bring the action if that bidder gives written notice of his intention to bring an action, sent by first-class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested, to every other losing bidder whose bid was lower than his or whose bid was higher in rank than his and none of the bidders notified files an action within 30 days following the date of their receipt of notice.  The written notice of intention to bring an action must contain the following: (1) a statement of the specific violations or failures to pay allegedly committed, which shall not preclude, in the course of the action, consideration of other violations or failures to pay as may be revealed in the course of discovery, (2) a statement that the action is to be filed pursuant to this act, and (3) a statement that the recipient of the notice may have the right to file an action and will be precluded from doing so if he does not file an action within 30 days of his receipt of the notice.  If no other losing bidder so notified files an action within 30 days of his receipt of the notice, the losing bidder who sent the notice shall file an action pursuant to this act within 15 days of the last day any of the recipients of the notice could have filed an action.  If more than one bidder files an action, all actions other than that filed by the bidder whose bid is the lowest of the bidders who filed actions, or, if, pursuant to law, the contract is awarded on the basis of factors other than or in addition to the lowest bid, whose bid is the highest in rank of the bidders who filed actions, shall be dismissed.

     b.  Upon a finding by the court that the plaintiff was a responsible bidder for the contract and a finding that one or more defendants violated the provisions of P.L.1963, c.150
(C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) or failed to pay any contribution, tax, assessment or benefit required by any other applicable law in connection with work performed pursuant to the contract, and that the plaintiff submitted a bid for the contract which was less than the sum total of the bid accepted by the public body plus any additional amount that the defendant or defendants would have paid during the term of the contract to be in full compliance with P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) and other applicable laws in connection with the contract, the court shall order the defendant or defendants to pay to the plaintiff the entire amount of damages sustained plus costs and reasonable attorney's fees or, if the court finds the noncompliance to be intentional, three times the amount of damages sustained plus costs and reasonable attorney's fees, except that the court shall order no payment to the plaintiff if the court finds that the violation or failure to pay was caused by minor record keeping mistakes or minor computational errors or by other minor mistakes.  The occurrence of more than two violations or failures to pay shall lead to the rebuttable presumption that the violation or failure to pay at issue is not minor.  If there are two or more defendants, the court shall allocate the payments for damages sustained and attorney's fees among the defendants in a reasonable manner.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring payments to a plaintiff by any contractor or subcontractor who has not violated the provisions of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) or failed to pay any contribution, tax, assessment or benefit required by any other applicable law in connection with work performed pursuant to the contract.  A plaintiff may designate an agent or representative to maintain the action if the violation or failure to pay has an adverse effect on the agent or representative or, if the agent or representative is an organization or association, on any member of the organization or association.  If the plaintiff prevails, the agent or representative shall be entitled to reimbursement for costs and reasonable attorney's fees of the agent or representative but not to a financial interest in the damages awarded.

     c.  For the purposes of this section, the damages sustained by a plaintiff shall include the plaintiff's costs of preparing and submitting the bid and may, if sought by the plaintiff, include profits that the court determines the plaintiff would have made if the plaintiff had been awarded the contract and complied with P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) and other applicable laws.

     d.  If the court determines that the defendant did not, in connection with work performed pursuant to the contract, violate the provisions of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) or fail to pay any contribution, tax, assessment or benefit required by other applicable law, the court shall order the plaintiff to pay the costs and reasonable attorney's fees of the defendant.  Nothing herein shall preclude a defendant who is found to have committed minor record keeping mistakes, minor computational errors or other minor mistakes from being awarded relief pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1988, c.46 (C.2A:15-59.1).

     e. If a construction project is undertaken by a public institution of higher education, in which the construction project is intended for use by a public institution of higher education at the time of construction, the public body shall be subject to the requirements of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.).  If the public institution of higher education, the public body, violates the provisions of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.), the public institution of higher education will be subject to the penalties defined under P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.).

     f.  As used in this section:

     "Person" means any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or business;

     "Contractor" means a person who is directly awarded a contract for a public work by a public body; and

     "Subcontractor" means any subcontractor or lower tier subcontractor of a contractor.

(cf: P.L.1996, c.71, s.1)

 

     4.    Section 19 of P.L.1986, c.43 (C.18A:64-70) is amended to read as follows:

     19.  All contracts or agreements for the purchase of goods and services, as distinct from contracts or agreements for the construction of buildings and other improvements, which require public advertisement for bids shall be awarded by the board of trustees to the responsible bidder whose bid, conforming to the invitation for bids, will be most advantageous to the State college, price and other factors considered.  Each worker employed by the selected bidder shall be paid the prevailing wage determined by the Commissioner of Labor pursuant to the provisions of the "New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act," P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) if the project is intended for use by the State college at the time of construction.

     Prior to the award of any contract or agreement which does not require public advertisement, the estimated cost of which is 20% or more of the amount set forth in this act or, commencing January 1, 1985, 20% of the amount determined by the Governor pursuant to subsection b. of section 3 of this act, the contracting agent shall, except in the case of professional services, solicit quotations therefor whenever practicable, and the award thereof shall be made, in accordance with section 3 of this article, on the basis of the quotation, conforming to the request for proposals, which is most advantageous to the State college, price and other factors considered; however, if the contracting agent deems it impractical to solicit competitive quotations or having sought the quotations determines that the award should not be made on that basis, the contracting agent shall file a statement of explanation of the reason or reasons therefor, which shall be placed on file with the purchase, contract, or agreement.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.369, s.12)

 

     5.    Section 43 of P.L.2009, c.90 (C.18A:64-85) is amended to read as follows:

     43. a. (1) A State college or county college may enter into a contract with a private entity, subject to subsection f. of this section, to be referred to as a public-private partnership agreement, that permits the private entity to assume full financial and administrative responsibility for the on-campus or off-campus construction, reconstruction, repair, alteration, improvement, extension, management, or operation of a building, structure, or facility of, or for the benefit of, the institution, provided that the project is financed in whole or in part by the private entity and that the State or institution of higher education, as applicable, retains full ownership of the land upon which the project is completed.

     (2)   A public-private partnership agreement may include an agreement under which a State or county college and the private entity enter into a lease of a dormitory or other revenue-producing facility to which the college holds title, in exchange for up-front or structured financing by the private entity for the construction of classrooms, laboratories, or other academic or research buildings.  Under the lease agreement, the college shall continue to hold title to the facility, and the private entity shall be responsible for the management, operation, and maintenance of the facility.  The private entity shall receive some or all, as per the agreement, of the revenue generated by the facility and shall operate the facility in accordance with college standards.  A lease agreement shall not affect the status or employment rights of college employees who are assigned to, or provide services to, the leased facility.  At the end of the lease term, subsequent revenue generated by the facility, along with management, operation, and maintenance responsibility, shall revert to the college.  A lease agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be limited in duration to a term of not more than 30 years.  A lease agreement shall be subject to all applicable provisions of current law governing leases by a State or county college not inconsistent with the provisions of this section. For the purposes of this section, "revenue-producing" shall include leaseback arrangements.

     (3)   Bundling of projects shall be prohibited.  As used in this paragraph, "bundling" means the use of a solicitation for multiple projects in one single contract, through a public-private partnership project delivery method, the result of which restricts competition.

     b.    (1) A private entity that assumes full financial and administrative responsibility for a project pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall not be subject, unless otherwise set forth herein, to the procurement and contracting requirements of all statutes applicable to the institution of higher education at which the project is completed, including, but not limited to, the "State College Contracts Law," P.L.1986, c.43 (C.18A:64-52 et seq.), and the "County College Contracts Law," P.L.1982, c.189 (C.18A:64A-25.1 et seq.).  Any capital improvements and conveyance of personal property owned by the State shall not be subject to the approval of the State House Commission pursuant to R.S.52:20-1 et seq., or the State Legislature, provided the State Treasurer approves of such transfer as being necessary to meet the goals of this act, P.L.2018, c.90 (C.40A:11-52 et al.).  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any State or county college or public research university shall be empowered to enter into contracts with a private entity and its affiliates, unless otherwise set forth herein, without being subject to the procurement and contracting requirements of any statute applicable to the public entity or institution provided that the private entity has been selected by the institution of higher education pursuant to a solicitation of proposals or qualifications from at least two private entities, or it has received an unsolicited proposal and followed the procedure set forth in paragraph (2) of subsection k. of this section.  For the purposes of this section, a public entity shall include the New Jersey Economic Development Authority or the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, and any project undertaken pursuant to subsection a. of this section of which the authority becomes the owner or lessee, or which is situated on land of which either of those authorities becomes the lessee, shall be deemed a "project" under "The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Act," P.L.1974, c.80 (C.34:1B-1 et seq.) or the "New Jersey educational facilities authority law," N.J.S.18A:72A-1 et seq., as appropriate.

     (2)   As the carrying out of any project described pursuant to this section constitutes the performance of an essential public function, all projects having the primary stated purpose of furthering the educational purposes of the institution undertaken pursuant to this section, provided it is owned by or leased to a public entity, any State or county college or public research university, non-profit business entity, foreign or domestic, or a business entity wholly owned by such non-profit business entity, shall at all times be exempt from property taxation and special assessments of the State, or any municipality, or other political subdivision of the State and, notwithstanding the provisions of section 15 of P.L.1974, c.80 (C.34:1B-15), section 2 of P.L.1977, c.272 (C.54:4-2.2b), or any other section of law to the contrary, shall not be required to make payments in lieu of taxes.  The land upon which the project is located shall also at all times be exempt from property taxation.  Further, the project and land upon which the project is located shall not be subject to the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1984, c.176 (C.54:4-1.10) regarding the tax liability of private parties conducting for profit activities on tax exempt land, or section 1 of P.L.1949, c.177 (C.54:4-2.3) regarding the taxation of leasehold interests in exempt property that are held by nonexempt parties.

     (3)   Prior to the commencement of work on a project, the private entity shall establish a construction account and appoint a third-party financial institution, who shall be prequalified by the State Treasurer, to act as a collateral agent, and to manage the construction account.  The construction account shall include the funding, financial instruments, or both, that shall be used to fully capitalize and fund the project, and the collateral agent shall maintain a full accounting of the funds and instruments in the account.  The funds and instruments in the construction account shall be held in trust for the benefit of the contractor, construction manager, and design-build team involved in the project.  The funds and instruments in the construction account shall not be the property of the private entity unless all amounts due to the construction account beneficiaries are paid in full.  The construction account shall not be designated for more than one project.

     c.     Each worker employed in the construction, rehabilitation, or building maintenance services of facilities by a private entity that has entered into a public-private partnership agreement with a State or county college pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be paid not less than the prevailing wage rate for the worker's craft or trade as determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.) and P.L.2005, c.379 (C.34:11-56.58 et seq.), including if the work completed during the partnership is intended for use by the State or county college at the time of construction.

     d. (1) All building construction projects under a public-private partnership agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall contain a project labor agreement.  The project labor agreement shall be subject to the provisions of P.L.2002, c.44 (C.52:38-1 et seq.), and shall be in a manner that to the greatest extent possible enhances employment opportunities for individuals residing in the county of the project's location.  Further, the general contractor, construction manager, design-build team, or subcontractor for a construction project proposed in accordance with this paragraph shall be registered pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1999, c.238 (C.34:11-56.48 et seq.), and shall be classified by the Division of Property Management and Construction, or shall be prequalified by the Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit, or the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, as appropriate, to perform work on a public-private partnership higher education project.

     (2)   All building projects proposed in accordance with this section shall be submitted to the State Treasurer, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, and to the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, as to projects to be financed through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, for review and approval in accordance with subsection f. of this section prior to the execution of the public-private partnership agreement in accordance with subsection k. of this section and, when practicable, are encouraged to adhere to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System as adopted by the United States Green Building Council, the Green Globes Program adopted by the Green Building Initiative, or a comparable nationally recognized, accepted, and appropriate sustainable development rating system.

     (3) The general contractor, construction manager, or design-build team shall be required to post a performance bond to ensure completion of the project and a payment bond guaranteeing prompt payment of moneys due in accordance with and conforming to the requirements of N.J.S.2A:44-143 et seq.

     e.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2018, c.90)

     f. (1) Prior to entering into a public-private partnership, the State or county college shall determine: (i) the benefits to be realized by the project; (ii) the cost of the project if it is developed by the public sector supported by comparisons to comparable projects; (iii) the maximum public contribution that the State or county college will allow under the public-private partnership; (iv) a comparison of the financial and non-financial benefits of the public-private partnership compared to other options including the public sector option; (v) a list of risks, liabilities and responsibilities to be transferred to the private entity and those to be retained by the State or county college; and (vi) if the project has a high, medium or low level of project delivery risk and how the public is protected from these risks.

     (2)   Prior to entering into a public-private partnership, the State or county college at a public meeting shall find that the project is in the best interest of the public by finding that: (i) it will cost less than the public sector option or if it costs more there are factors that warrant the additional expense; (ii) there is a public need for the project and the project is consistent with existing long-term plans; (iii) there are specific significant benefits to the project; (iv) there are specific significant benefits to using the public-private partnership instead of other options including No-Build; (v) the private development will result in timely and efficient development and operation; and (vi) the risks, liabilities and responsibilities transferred to the private entity provide sufficient benefits to warrant not using other means of procurement.

     (3)   All projects proposed in accordance with this section shall be submitted to the State Treasurer, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, and the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority is to be consulted if the project is to be financed through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, for review and approval.  The projects are encouraged, when practicable, to adhere to the green building manual prepared by the Commissioner of Community Affairs pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2007, c.132 (C.52:27D-130.6).

     (4)   All projects proposed in accordance with this section that have a transportation component or impact the transportation infrastructure shall be submitted to the State Treasurer, in consultation with the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation for review and approval.

     (5) (a) In order for an application to be complete and considered by the State Treasurer, the application shall include, but not be limited to: (i) a full description of the proposed public-private partnership agreement between the State or county college and the private developer, including all information obtained by and findings of the State or county college pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection; (ii) a full description of the project, including a description of any agreement for the lease of a revenue-producing facility related to the project; (iii) the estimated costs and financial documentation for the project showing the underlying financial models and assumptions that determined the estimated costs.  The financial documentation shall include at least three different projected estimated costs showing scenarios in which materially different economic circumstances are assumed and an explanation for how the estimated costs were determined based on the three scenarios; (iv) a timetable for completion of the construction of the project; (v) an analysis of all available funding options for the project, including an analysis of the financial viability and advisability of the project, along with evidence of the public benefit in advancing the project as a public-private partnership; (vi) a record of the public hearing; and (vii) any other requirements that the State Treasurer deems appropriate or necessary.  The application shall also include a resolution by the governing body of the State or county college of its intent to enter into a public-private partnership agreement pursuant to this section.

     (b)   As part of the estimated costs and financial documentation for the project, the application shall contain a long-range maintenance plan and a long-range maintenance bond and shall specify the expenditures that qualify as an appropriate investment in maintenance.  The long-range maintenance plan shall be approved by the State Treasurer pursuant to regulations promulgated by the State Treasurer that reflect national building maintenance standards and other appropriate building maintenance benchmarks.  All contracts to implement a long-range maintenance plan pursuant to this paragraph shall contain a project labor agreement.  The project labor agreement shall be subject to the provisions of P.L.2002, c.44 (C.52:38-1 et seq.), and shall be in a manner that to the greatest extent possible enhances employment opportunities for individuals residing in the county of the project's location.

     (6)   The State Treasurer, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education and the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, shall review all completed applications, and request additional information as is needed to make a complete assessment of the project.  No project shall commence the procurement process or negotiate a contract for an unsolicited proposal until approval has been granted by the State Treasurer.  The State Treasurer shall find that: the criteria for assessing the project shall include, but may not be limited to: (i) the State's or county college's assumptions regarding the project's scope, its benefits, its risks and the cost of the public sector option were fully and reasonably developed; (ii) the design of the project is feasible; (iii) the experience and qualifications of the private entity are adequate; (iv) the financial plan is sound; (v) the long-range maintenance plan is adequate to protect the investment; (vi) the project is in the best interest of the public using the criteria in paragraph (2) of this subsection f.; and (vii) a resolution by the governing body of the State or county college of its intent to enter into a public-private partnership agreement for the project has been received; and (viii) the term sheet for any proposed procurement contains all necessary elements.  Before the State or county college enters into a public-private partnership agreement, the project shall be submitted to the State Treasurer for final approval, provided, however, that the State Treasurer shall retain the right to revoke approval if the project has substantially deviated from the plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection.

     (7)   The State Treasurer, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, as to projects to be financed through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, may promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to implement this subsection, including, but not limited to, provisions for fees to cover administrative costs, and for the determination of minimum State or county college standards for the operation of the project, and for the qualification for professional services, construction contracting, and other relevant qualifications.

     g.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2018, c.90)

     h.    A project with an expenditure of under $50 million developed under a public-private partnership agreement shall include a requirement that precludes contractors from engaging in the project if the contractor has contributed to the private entity's financing of the project in an amount of more than 10% of the project's financing costs.

     i.     The power of eminent domain shall not be delegated to any private entity under the provisions of P.L.2018, c.90 (C.40A:11-52 et al.); however, a State or county college may dedicate any property interest, including improvements, and tangible personal property of the State or county college for public use in a qualifying project if the State or county college finds that so doing will serve the public purpose of the project by minimizing the cost of the project to the State or county college or reducing the delivery time of a project.

     j.     Any public-private partnership agreement, if appropriate, shall include provisions affirming that the agreement and any work performed under the agreement are subject to the provisions of the "Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act," P.L.2007, c.114 (C.34:20-1 et seq.).  Any public-private partnership agreement shall also include, at a minimum: (i) the term of the agreement; (ii) the total project cost; (iii) a completion date guarantee; (iv) a provision for damages if the private entity fails to meet the completion date; and (v) a maximum rate of return to the private entity and a provision for the distribution of excess earnings to the local government unit or to the private party for debt reduction.

     k. (1) A private entity seeking to enter into a public-private partnership agreement with the State or county college shall be qualified by the State or county college as part of the procurement process, provided such process ensures that the private entity meets at least the minimum State or county college standards for qualification for professional services, construction contracting, and other qualifications applicable to the project, prior to submitting a proposal under the procurement process.

     (2)   A request for qualifications for a public-private partnership agreement shall be advertised at least 45 days prior to the anticipated date of receipt.  The advertisement of the request for qualifications shall be published on the official Internet website of the State or county college and at least one or more newspapers with Statewide circulation.

     (3)   After the State or county college determines the qualified respondents utilizing, at minimum, the qualification standards promulgated by the State Treasurer, the State or county college shall issue a request for proposals to each qualified respondent no less than 90 days prior to the date established for submission of the proposals.  The request for proposals shall include relevant technical submissions, documents, and the evaluation criteria to be used in the selection of the designated respondent.  The evaluation criteria shall be, at minimum, criteria promulgated by the State Treasurer, in consultation with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

     (4)   The State or county college may accept unsolicited proposals from private entities for public-private partnership agreements. If the State or county college receives an unsolicited proposal and determines that it meets the standards of this section, the State or county college shall publish a notice of the receipt of the proposal on the Internet site of the State or county college, or through at least one or more newspapers with Statewide circulation, and provide notice of the proposal at its next scheduled public meeting and to the State Treasurer.  To qualify as an unsolicited proposal, the unsolicited proposal shall at a minimum include a description of the public-private project, the estimated construction and life-cycle costs, a timeline for development, proposed plan of financing, including projected revenues, public or private, debt, equity investment or availability payments, description of how the project meets needs identified in existing plans, the permits and approvals needed to develop the project from local, state and federal agencies and a projected schedule for obtaining such permits and approvals, a statement of risks, liabilities and responsibilities to be assumed by the private entity.  If a notice is published exclusively in newspapers, the notice shall appear in at least one or more newspapers with Statewide circulation where the proposed project is to be located.  The notice shall provide that the State or county college will accept, for 120 days after the initial date of publication, proposals meeting the standards of this section from other private entities for eligible projects that satisfy the same basic purpose and need. A copy of the notice shall be mailed to each municipal and county local government body in the geographic area affected by the proposal.

     (5)   After the proposal or proposals have been received, and any public notification period has expired, the State or county college shall rank the proposals in order of preference.  In ranking the proposals, the State or county college may consider factors that include, but may not be limited to, professional qualifications, general business terms, innovative engineering, architectural services, or cost-reduction terms, finance plans, and the need for State or county college funds to deliver the project and discharge the agreement.  The private entity selected shall comply with all laws and regulations required by the State government entity, including but not limited to section 1 of P.L.2001, c.134
(C.52:32-44), sections 2 through 8 of P.L.1975, c.127 (C.10:5-32 to 38), section 1 of P.L.1977, c.33 (C.52:25-24.2), P.L.2005, c.51 (C.19:44A-20.13 et al.); P.L.2005, c.271 (C.40A:11-51 et al.), Executive Order No. 117 of 2008, Executive Order No. 118 of 2008, Executive Order No. 189, prior to executing the public-private partnership agreement.  If only one proposal is received, the State or county college shall negotiate in good faith and, if not satisfied with the results of the negotiations, the State or county college may, at its sole discretion, terminate negotiations.

     (6)   The State or county college may require that the private entity assume responsibility for all costs incurred by the State or county college before execution of the public-private partnership agreement, including costs of retaining independent experts to review, analyze, and advise the State or county college with respect to the proposal.

     (7)   Stipends may be used on public-private partnership projects when there is a substantial opportunity for innovation and the costs for developing a proposal are significant.  The State or county college may elect to pay unsuccessful proposers for the work product they submit with their proposal in response to a request for proposals.  The use by the State or county college of any design element contained in an unsuccessful proposal shall be at the sole risk and discretion of the State or county college and shall not confer liability on the recipient of the stipulated stipend amount.  After payment of the stipulated stipend amount, the State or county college and the unsuccessful proposer shall jointly own the rights to, and may make use of any work product contained in the proposal, including the technologies, techniques, methods, processes, ideas, and information contained in the proposal, project design, and project financial plan.  The use by the unsuccessful proposer of any part of the work product contained in the proposal shall be at the sole risk of the unsuccessful proposer and shall not confer liability on the State or county college.

     (8)   The State or county college shall set aside one percent of each project and remit it to the Public Private Partnership Review fund established pursuant to P.L.2018, c.90 (C.40A:11-52 et al.), for purposes of plan review and analysis required under the bill.

     (9)   Nothing in this section shall be construed as or deemed a waiver of the sovereign immunity of the State, the State or county college, or an affected locality or public entity or any officer or employee thereof with respect to the participation in or approval of all or any part of the public-private project.

(cf: P.L.2018, c.90, s.5)

     6.    Section 5 of P.L.2004, c.127 (C.18A:72A-5.1) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    Each worker employed in the construction or rehabilitation of facilities, including if the product of the construction or rehabilitation is intended for use by a public institution of higher education, undertaken in connection with loans, loan guarantees, expenditures, investments, tax exemptions or other incentives or financial assistance approved, provided, authorized, facilitated or administered by the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, or undertaken to fulfill any condition of receiving any of the incentives or financial assistance, shall be paid not less than the prevailing wage rate for the worker's craft or trade, as determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.).

     The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall determine the prevailing wage rate in the locality in which the construction or rehabilitation is to be performed for each craft, trade or classification of worker employed in the construction or rehabilitation, as if the construction or rehabilitation is "public work" as defined in section 2 of P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.26).

(cf: P.L.2004, c.127, s.5)

 

     7.    (New Section)  A public institution of higher education shall pay not less than the prevailing wage rate for any construction completed by the selected bidder, pursuant to P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.).  Nothing in this act shall be construed as restricting or limiting any right established or provided to employees by any other law.  If any section, subsection, clause, sentence, paragraph, or part of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, shall, for any reason, be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any other right or obligation to pay prevailing wage.

 

     8.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that a public institution of higher education is required to pay the State prevailing wage rate determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development when a development is intended for use by the institution at the time of construction.  The bill requires the prevailing wage rate to be paid for work under a contract with a for-profit or not-for-profit entity associated with the public body when the purpose of the entity is raising or managing public or private financial support or managing assets on behalf of the public body, where the construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, custom fabrication, repair work, or maintenance work undertaken under contract with the entity is to be used by or for the benefit of the public body.

     The bill adds to the definition of “public work” subject to prevailing wage requirements work on properties or premises under agreement to be purchased by the public body and work paid for in whole or in part by “take-out financing.”

     The bill provides that ”public work” is also defined to mean work on a project receiving financial assistance provided, authorized, facilitated, or administered by public bodies or their agencies or authorities, except that work on a project receiving financial assistance from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) is not “public work” unless it is subject to State prevailing wage requirements pursuant to sections 7 and 42 of P.L.1983, c.530 (C.55:14K-7 and 55:14K-42).