This week, the House passed SB 200, the Delaware Commitment to Innovation Act. The bill now heads to Governor Markell for signature. As outlined last week, the bill increases the cap on the R&D tax credit and makes it refundable. The intent is to make Delaware more attractive for businesses to expand or relocate their R&D operations here, as well as to incentivize new startups that may stem from DuPont’s reorganization.
Additionally, the House Labor Committee heard and released a bill mandating Project Labor Agreements (P.L.A.s) on all state-funded construction work this week, regardless of project size. P.L.A.s are labor agreements negotiated by the client, in this case the state, and labor organizations, in exchange for promises not to strike. These agreements also force non-union contractor employees to pay union dues, and into the union pension plan, for the duration of the project. Unfortunately, these workers will not see any payback from these plans, as they will not work enough union hours to qualify for payment. In effect, the employee is paying into a plan they will never benefit from. Since many non-union contractors choose not to bid on jobs with a P.L.A., the resulting lack of competitive bidding results in an average 25-30% increase in construction project costs—meaning taxpayers receive 25-30% less project for their dollar. The bill now goes to the House for further action.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.