Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

Already Belong? Login

What We're Reading, Listening To, and Watching

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Why Rent Control is Ridiculous New York's rent control laws are truly bizarre and now a man who checked into a hotel and as a result claimed to own the hotel has even managed to get a housing court to agree. Story 

Sacramento City Council rejects Union Greenmail Attempt The Sacramento City Council quickly dismissed an appeal of approvals for downtown project 10K Tuesday night, rejecting environmental concerns raised by a labor union.  Story [Business Journal]

Contractor relationship major cause of San Francisco Subway issues The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) $1.6 billion Central Subway project will start service 428 days later than the deadline in its Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Full Funding Grant Agreement, according to a federal monitor's report. With approximately 85% of major work complete at the end of April, outstanding claims of $102 million for changes will exceed available contingency funds of $47.6 million, the report from the FTA's Project Management Oversight Committee (PMOC) said. Story [Construction Dive]

More Labor Unrest in Sanders Campaign:An unfair labor practice charge was filed against Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign Monday, alleging that employees have faced retaliation for participating in protected union activities, among other things. The details of the allegations won't be revealed until the NLRB conducts an investigation, but the charge states that the campaign illegally disciplined and discharged a worker and modified the campaign's contract with the union. The charge, first reported by Labor Union Report, comes after The Washington Post reported last week that unionized employees were demanding annual salaries that would be equivalent to a $15 hourly wage, a rate Sanders says should be the federal minimum wage. [Politico]

Home Sales Update: June 2019 Home sales can be a good indicator of the health of the state's economy and housing markets. Home sales have been relatively weak in recent months. This continued in June, which had an estimated 25,900 non-distressed (not resulting from mortgage delinquency or foreclosure) home sales statewide in May. This (is) below the 28,000 sales in June 2018 and the long-term historical average of 31,400 sales per month. (This data is "seasonally-adjusted" because some months are predictably higher or lower than others.)

Senate Won't Act on Cadillac Tax Before Recess The US Senate has started the process for bringing directly to the floor the House bill to repeal Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" but the vote won't happen until after the August recess, according to POLITICO sources. The House last week easily passed legislation to repeal the tax on high-cost employer-provided health insurance that was supposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.  Story [ASCE]

Recruitment Struggles Latinos, Asian Americans and women are underrepresented among applicants for the California commission that draws congressional districts, and some advocacy organizations are asking for a deadline extension to address the disparities. Since the application period for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission opened June 10 this year, just over 7,500 people have applied with just over two weeks to go before the deadline. But about two thirds of the applicants are white, though less than 40 percent of the state's population is white. Six percent are Asian American or Pacific Islander, compared to nearly 16 percent of the general population. Less than 13 percent of applicants are Latino, the state's largest ethnic group at 39 percent of the population. Women make up just under 39 percent of applicants. A coalition of organizations sent a letter on Tuesday to state auditor Elanie Howle, who oversees the commission, asking her to extend the deadline to September 20. The state auditor's office hasn't yet had a chance to thoroughly review the request but plans to do so, said spokeswoman Margarita Fernandez. For now, the deadline to apply for the commission is August 9. [Sacramento BEE]