White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu visited Madison recently as part of a three-week national tour touting the impacts of the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act, the largest federal investment in public transportation in U.S. history.
The former New Orleans mayor was excited to announce many projects that will benefit from $5 billion in projected infrastructure spending in Wisconsin. Included in the projects is more than $2 billion in funding for our state’s roads, bridges, airports, ports, and waterways, but there was more that Landrieu did not mention.
Landrieu did not mention that the Biden Administration has been expanding efforts to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on taxpayer-funded projects. These mandates needlessly limit the pool of experienced and qualified bidders who can deliver the best possible product to taxpayers at the best price.
Landrieu did not mention that the Biden Administration’s controversial mandates restrict competition, increase costs, create delays, and place non-union contractors and their employees at a significant disadvantage.
Landrieu did not mention that the Biden administration’s insistence on requiring union labor and steering federal and federally-assisted construction contracts to unionized contractors via mandatory PLAs will increase infrastructure project costs by 12% to 20%.
Landrieu did not mention that PLA mandates lock out merit contractors, including many of our small, women- and minority-owned businesses and their employees.
Landrieu did not mention PLAs also exacerbate the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage of more than half a million people by excluding the 88% of the construction industry that chooses not to join a union.
With hard working Wisconsinites facing exorbitant prices for food, energy and housing, the last thing they need is to be excluded from the opportunity to earn money on these taxpayer-funded projects. They deserve better.