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Government Affairs

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The Northern California Chapter, NECA Government Affairs Committee is the Chapter’s political voice. At the local level, we meet with legislators to effect legislation in California. During the election cycle, we review and evaluate local candidates and measures for PAC contributions in our nine Bay Area County jurisdiction. Nationally, the Northern California Chapter participates to effect change concerning legislative actions and regulatory policies resulting in the ability of our electrical contractors to operate their businesses efficiently and profitably. With that in mind, we actively participate in the annual NECA Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., where a consortium of Chapter staff and members meet with our representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate for key issues, which directly affect our contractor members and the industry.

The Government Affairs Committee is comprised of representatives from each of the Chapter’s five divisions to ensure that the voice of all our contractors is heard.
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NorCal NECA Day at the Capitol (Sacramento)

The Northern California Chapter was joined by the
San Diego Chapter at our annual legislative trip to Sacramento, held last week on April 22nd. Chapter President Kurt Brinkman (Intrepid Electronic Systems) joined us along with Board member and Government Affairs Committee Chair Greg Long (Long Electric), and fellow Board members Tammy Evans (WPCS), Lew Frain (Con J. Franke Electric), Rick McKinney (McKinney & Associates), Brian and Gene Gini (Collins Electrical Co.), Gary Woody (Bockmon & Woody). Also joining us from the Chapter were Steve and Charlotte Hanson (SD Electric), Jeff Withers (Collins Electrical Co.), Kevin Gini (Collins Electrical Co., Sacramento), and Andre Gardner (NCECI). Representing Chapter staff were Greg Armstrong, Darlene Besst, Scot VanBuskirk, Julie Russell, and Pete Halver.

The San Diego Chapter was represented by NECA staff member Karen Prescott, Bob Davies (Davies Electric), and Pete Spencer (Audio Associates). The full-days event began with comments by our Statewide Lobbyist, Eddie Bernacchi. The main topic of discussion for the day was AB-1347, a new bill on change order legislation. Currently, there is no law in place to require agencies to pay for legitimate claims made by contractors for work performed and approved by the awarding agency. Passage of AB-1347 would put a process in place that requires agencies to respond to a contractor's claim, requires the agency to pay out portions of the work they acknowledge/agree they owe the contractor, and implements a fair process for resolving any disputed portions of payment.

Appointments were held with 25 assembly and senate members or staff to advocate their support of AB-1347. Our contractors were given the opportunity to share what they have and currently experience concerning additional work performed under a change order, and the lack of or greatly reduced payment. We received very positive feedback from our elected officials and their staff. Feedback from attendees indicated that meetings were impactful and productive.

AB-1347 is schedules for its first committee review on April 29th. We will keep everyone apprised as to the progression of this important legislation.

Special thanks to all of our contractors who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend and let their voices be heard.

In addition to our day at the Ca
pitol on April 22nd, Greg Long and Darlene Besst also attended the American Subcontractors Association ("ASA") Day at the Capitol held the previous day on April 21st. Greg was asked to participate on a pan
el to discuss the recently released Electri International research on change orders and how it together with pending legislation in California (AB-1347) would greatly benefit subcontractors. Greg spoke about the importance of taking the report nationwide to all industries and the benefit it could have on development of standardizing change order practices, along with legislation to hold awarding agencies accountable to pay for additional work as directed by the agency.

NECA Legislative Conference in Washington DC a Great Success:

Eight attendees from the Northern California Chapter attended our Legislative Conference last week to meet with congressional lawmakers to discuss NECA's priority issues such as the Energy Policy, Transportation, Water and the impact of the Affordable Care Act.

Chapter President Kurt Brinkman (Intrepid Electronic Systems); Government Affairs Chair Greg Long (Long Electric); Lew Frain (Con J. Franke Electric); Kim Scruggs (Columbia Electric); Gary Woody (Bockmon & Woody Electric) Andre Gardner (NCECI); representing the Chapter were Greg Armstrong and Juanita Mitchell.

Over 200 attendees from across the nation heard presentations from members of Congress who enlightened us on the political climate and key issues being discussed on Capitol Hill. Greg Armstrong had the honor of introducing Congressman Jeff Denham to the NECA group prior to his presentation.

The highlight of the trip was individual meetings with elected officials from districts within our Chapter's jurisdiction. This year, meetings were held with Congress members Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, John Garamendi, Mike Honda, Barbara Lee, Jerry McNerney, Eric Swalwell and Mike Thompson, along with a meeting with Senator Barbara Boxer's staff.

Individual meetings were enhanced by our contractors who conveyed personal stories of what they faced as owners of small and medium-size businesses. We found our representatives to be very open to our concerns. Follow-up meetings by our Government Affairs team in Washington, D.C. will be held, as well as local follow-up.

 
 

SITE LINKS

 

Government Affairs

National Electrical Contractors Association
Northern California Chapter
5934 Gibraltar Drive, Suite 205
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Phone: 925-828-NECA(6322)


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