November 2021 Government Affairs Report
MBI Defeats Anti-Modular Bills in New York
MBI Government Affairs Director, Jon Hannah-Spacagna, and MBI’s retained New York lobbyist, Claudia Granados with the Carnelian Group, successfully defeated bills A2039 and S4738 that would have required the use of New York City union labor in all New York City modular projects, regardless of where the structure was manufactured. This is the second year in a row that MBI has successfully defeated this bill.
MBI is currently working with newly elected NYC Mayor, Eric Adams, to prevent future legislation like this and to create new opportunities for the use of modular construction within the city.
MBI Works with Michigan Legislators & Governor to Lift Hiring Freeze and Speed Up Modular Plan Reviews
Several MBI member companies reached out to MBI staff about significant delays in plan approvals in Michigan and the department’s unwillingness to utilize third party inspection agencies to improve approval times.
After several emails with Michigan Administrator, Jon Paradine, MBI Government Affairs Director, Jon Hannah-Spacagna schedule a zoom meeting with Mr. Paradine and his leadership team on 8/18. Michigan’s modular administrative team stated that they were on a hiring freeze and were unable to hire additional staff needed to catch up on plan approvals. Additionally, they stated they were not interested in using third party approval agencies for plan reviews as it would cause their department to lose income.
Jon asked what MBI could do to help them get the staff they needed to have plan reviews completed in a timely manner. They asked if we could reach out to members of the Appropriations Committee in the legislature to help them get more funding for staff that would help.
Jon coordinated a zoom meeting with Rep. Fink and Rep. Yaroch, who both serve on the Appropriations Committee and have member companies in their districts. The helped MBI connect with the Governor’s office to have the hiring freeze lifted. MBI continues to work with the department to begin use of Third Party Approval Agencies to lessen approval times in the future.
California Passes MBI-Supported Bills to Support Housing Development Opportunities
MBI provided letters of support and worked with coalition partners to have the following bills passed during the 2020 legislative session. All have been signed into law by Governor Newsom.
- SB 9 (Atkins - D) Housing development approvals
- SB 10 (Wiener - D) Planning and zoning: housing density
- SB 477 (Wiener - D) General plan: annual report
- SB 478 (Wiener - D) – Floor area ratio: housing developments
MBI Works with Chicago Mayor and Illinois Legislature to Pass Modular Legislation
In Illinois, SB1839 which creates an equal environment for modular construction with site-built construction, removing current hurdles that could occur at the state, city or local levels.
MBI Secures $4.2 Billion in Funding from Canadian Housing Mortgage Corporation for Modular Construction Industry
In Canada, MBI continues to work closely with leadership at the Canadian Housing Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) as they continue their Rapid Housing Initiative to address affordable housing using only modular construction. CMHC recently announced that in addition to the initial $1.2 billion investment in this initiative, they have since partnered with Scotiabank to add an additional $3 billion to their funding of this program.
MBI works with Virginia Leaders to Recruit Modular Manufacturer to the State
In Virginia, MBI worked with state officials to encourage them to recruit a modular manufacturer to open a facility in the state to address their housing needs. In May 2021, Governor Northam announced they had confirmed a partnership with a modular manufacturer to build a $200 million facility in Newport News that will bring 220 new jobs to the state and increase the use of modular construction to add to their current modular projects of addressing housing needs in the state.
MBI Working with California Governor’s Office and the Housing and Community Development Department on $500M Modular Affordable Housing Program
MBI's executive director Tom Hardiman and government affairs director Jon Hannah-Spacagna were recruited by the Administrator of the California Housing and Community Development department (HCD) to join a very select task force to address affordable housing in California. This group includes several MBI member companies as well as key cabinet members from the Governor’s office.
Their goal is to recruit modular manufacturers to build new factories in the state as part of Governor Newsom’s newly announced $12 billion state budget. This plan also includes using California timber to address their fire season issues. This task force has already had one Zoom meeting and Tom and Jon have had additional discussions with HCD leadership to provide guidance on this initiative.
MBI Works with retained DC Lobbying firm to Defeat Pro Act
MBI worked with retained lobbying firm, LobbyIT, to defeate key provisions of the Pro Act, that would have drastically amended federal labor laws.
However, through the budget reconciliation process, the following whittled down portions of the Act did pass:
- Impose civil penalties of up to $50,000 per violation of the NLRA;
- Double civil penalties up to $100,000 for NLRA violations that resulted in discharge or serious economic harm where the employer committed another similar violation within the past 5 years; and
- Assess civil penalties against directors and officers where the facts indicate that personal liability is warranted.
The following language was NOT included in the final revision:
- Permanently replace strikers;
- Discriminate against a worker who has unconditionally offered to return to work based on participation in a strike;
- Lockout, suspend, or otherwise withhold employment from employees prior to a strike;
- Misrepresent to a worker that they are excluded from the definition of “employee” under the Act, such as misclassifying independent contractor or supervisor;
- Require or coerce employees to attend so-called “captive audience meetings” or other campaign activities;
- Enter into, enforce, coerce, or retaliate against employees with respect to class or collective action waivers.
The MBI government affairs team will continue to provide updates and breaking news as new information is received on these key issues.
Read Additional Monthly Updates
Updates from Washington State, New York, Michigan, Colorado, Maryland & more.
Updates from Washington DC, New York, Michigan, California, & more.
Huge updates on three pieces of federal legislation worth up to $4 trillion and their potential impacts on the modular industry.