The definition of “public works” in ORS 279C.800(6)(a) is amended to include in addition to roads, highways, buildings, structures and improvements of all types, the construction, reconstruction, major renovation or painting of which is carried on or contracted for by any public agency to serve the public interest:
· A project for the construction, reconstruction, major renovation or painting of a privately owned road, highway, building, structure or improvement of any type that uses funds of a private entity and $750,000 or more of funds of a public agency; or
· A project for construction of a privately owned road, highway, building, structure or improvement of any type that uses funds of a private entity and in which 25 percent or more of the square footage of the completed project will be occupied or used by a public agency.
The definition of “funds of a public agency” is amended to exclude, among other things, tax credits or tax abatements, or money from the sale of bonds that are loaned by a state agency to a private entity, unless the money will be used for a public improvement.
If a public works project is of the type described in ORS 279C.800(6)(a)(B) or (C) (a privately owned project with $750,000 or more of funds of a public agency or in which 25 percent or more of the square footage will be occupied or used by a public agency), the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries is required to divide the project if appropriate so that any part of the project that does not include funds of a public agency and that will not be occupied or used by a public agency will not be subject to the PWR law. If a project includes parts that are owned by a public agency and parts that are owned by a private entity, the commissioner is required to divide the parts of the project that are not public works from those that are subject to the PWR law if appropriate.
Projects for residential construction that are privately owned and that predominately provide affordable housing are exempted from the PWR law.
BOLI is required to make coverage determinations upon request about whether projects or proposed projects are or would be subject to the PWR law. The requestor or anyone adversely affected or aggrieved by the determination may request a hearing.
The applicable prevailing rates of wage for a public works project may be incorporated into the specifications by referring to the electronically accessible or Internet-accessible rates, and by providing adequate information about how to access the rates.
When a public works project is subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, if the public agency fails to include the state and federal prevailing rates of wage in the specifications for the contract, or fails to include in the specifications information showing which prevailing rate of wage is higher, the public agency will be liable to each affected worker for any unpaid difference between the applicable higher rate of wage and the lower rate of wage. The public agency will also be liable for an additional amount equal to the amount of unpaid wages as liquidated damages.
When a public works project is subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, BOLI must:
· Use the federal definition and interpretation of “site of work;”
· Use the federal guidelines for whether workers transporting materials and supplies to and from the site of the project are due the prevailing rate of wage;
· Apply the federal standard to workers enrolled in skill training programs that are certified by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation under the Federal-Aid Highway Act.
The PWR fee, previously required to be paid by contractors, is now required to be paid by public agencies. The minimum fee is increased to $250 and the maximum fee is increased to $7,500. The increased minimum and maximum amounts sunset on January 1, 2011.
BOLI is required to develop and adopt a plan to increase diversity statewide among workers employed on public works projects.
Certified disadvantaged, minority, women or emerging small business enterprises may elect not to file a public works bond with Construction Contractors Board (CCB) for up to four years after certification.
Contractors and subcontractors may elect not to file a public works bond with CCB when working on a public works project for which the total project cost does not exceed $100,000.