MCAI’s Board of Directors and Government Relations Committee have established the following legislative priorities in no particular order for the next legislative session.
Preservation of Statewide Licensing – MCAI and other interested organizations successfully passed statewide licensing for the mechanical contracting industry in 2007. The goals were to establish portability so workers could operate statewide under one license rather than several and to require a certain level of initial and continuing education to establish a baseline for academic expertise. Each year since 2007 various special interest groups attempt to “water down” the licensing law and introduce waivers for their specific scope of work, up to and including outright repeal of the entire law. MCAI feels that licensing is essential to ensure the safety of Iowa’s citizens. Faulty mechanical and plumbing systems can result in serious injury or death. Therefore, the MCAI Board of Directors is dedicated to working with the Iowa Mechanical and Plumbing Systems Licensing Board and the Legislature to preserve the existing law.
Alternative Project Delivery – Often referred to as Design-Build, this form of project delivery is used extensively by the private sector, as well as the public sector in varying degrees in nearly every state in the country except Iowa. Iowa’s public sector bidding laws only recognize the archaic traditional low-bid system of project delivery. The MCAI doesn’t advocate completely abandoning the low-bid system. Rather, the MCAI would like to introduce Alternative Project Delivery as another tool for public owners to use in determining the most efficient, cost-effective manner for construction.
Fairness in Contracting – Fairness in contracting is a general term that encompasses many different facets of the construction industry. Several years ago the MCAI and other organizations passed a law that changed how and when public owners released retainage fees back to contractors. We also helped pass a law forbidding broad-form indemnification in construction contracts. These are examples of fairness in contracting issues. The MCAI is looking into other fairness issues for the 2012 legislative and is currently working with other construction associations on bill language.