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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NECA Legislative Conference in Washington DC a Great Success:
The Northern California Chapter, NECA was well represented at the annual Legislative Conference held in Washington, DC. Contractors Steve and Charlotte Hanson (SD Electric, Inc.), Kurt and Nadia Brinkman (Intrepid Electronic Systems, Inc.), Greg Long (Long Electric Company), Collin Weiner (CalEnergy Electrical Corporation), John Dillon (Hamilton & Dillon Electric), along with Andre Gardner (NCECI) and NECA staff members Peter Butler, Juanita Mitchell and Greg Armstrong were able to strengthen relationship with our experienced representatives, as well as meet with new members of Congress who are part of the largest freshman group in US History.
Our group meet with nine members of Congress and one of the key meetings was with Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), who has offered to assist in our efforts to improve Local Business Preference on federal sites such as Travis and Beale Air Force Bases. As Chairman of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, Congressman Garamendi is also offering to propose policy suggested by Andre Gardner to ensure employers on federal projects properly classify their workers and provide workers’ compensation insurance. We will be working with our National NECA Government Affairs staff, as well as Congressman Garamendi’s office to move these policies forward.
Our group also promoted passage of HR-2344, a bill designed to further reform change-order policies by requiring immediate payment of at least 50% of change-order billings. Also, in regards to change-order and prompt payment laws, Chapter President Greg Long received special recognition from Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) for his advocacy and testimony in support of HR-4754, a law that was recently passed relating to transparency in change-order policy. Other key issues covered were infrastructure and transportation, tax policy and pension plan reform. A huge thank you to those that attended and participated in our democracy.
NorCal NECA Day at the Capitol (Sacramento)
Impactful Meetings Held
The Northern California Chapter was joined by the San Diego Chapter at our annual legislative trip to Sacramento, held on March 21, 2018. Chapter President Greg Long (Long Electric Company) joined us, along with Board members Beci Anderson (Beci Electric, Inc.), Kurt Brinkman (Intrepid Electronic Systems, Inc.), Lew Frain (Con J. Franke Electric, Inc.), Brian, Dianne and Gene Gini (Collins Electrical Co., Inc.), Rick McKinney (Lloyd F. McKinney Associates, Inc.), and Kim Sabin (Columbia Electric, Inc.). Also joining us from the Chapter were Nadia Brinkman (Intrepid Electronic Systems, Inc.), Andre Gardner (NCECI), Tom Long (Long Electric Company) and Janet McKinney (Lloyd F. McKinney Associates, Inc.). Representing NECA staff were Greg Armstrong, Julie Russell, Ryan Sarna and Scot VanBuskirk, as well as Bob Gutierrez (Business Development Consultant).
The San Diego Chapter was represented by NECA staff member Karen Prescott-Loeffler, Bob Davies, Brian Morales, Clint Morgan and Timothy McBride. The day’s event began with comment by our Statewide Lobbyist Eddie Bernacchi. The main topic of discussion for the day was AB 1080, which would allow a 5% bid preference in public works to those contractors who provide credible health coverage to their employees. California’s goal of increasing healthcare coverage and reducing costs is defeated as young construction workers will opt for cash instead of health coverage under the recent repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s “Individual Mandate.” A 5% bid preference in public works for contractors who provide credible healthcare coverage to their workers would allow for fair competition, increase healthcare coverage and reduce costs.
Special thanks to all of our contractors who took time out of their busy schedules to attend and share their challenges and successes with their representatives. We would also like to express our appreciation to Eddie Bernacchi for his tireless efforts in Sacramento on behalf of our contractors.