Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shovel Ready in Massachusetts

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Governor Deval Patrick has released his list of the state's "shovel ready" projects. The projects will vie for a piece of the recently-passed, $789 billion stimulus package. As expected, Boston leads the list of municipalities with projects" ready to go" with $1.1 billion.

Wherever the money is spent you can count on big labor to be there ready to push for Project Labor Agreement designations on any major construction project. Non-union firms are already raising the red flag. That's because PLAs are costly, anti-competitive measures according to BHI's past research. But PLAs aren't the only problem. The state's higher than national average prevailing wage law will also mean fewer projects will be undertaken.

Meanwhile, how well will unemployed workers in Massachusetts benefit considering the huge influx of construction funding? According to ProPublica, a journalism site that tried to measure how well any benefits align with the high unemployment states, Massachusetts will do much better than high unemployment states such as Michigan and Nevada.

The 78-page "wish list" (dated 2/9/09) from the Governor's office is here.

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