So I have a cause for a proposed law - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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So I have a cause for a proposed law

Other than writing to your state rep, how would one go about getting a bill proposal in front of politicians? Is there any other way?


I'm not a lobbyist, and don't really want to be.

But Texas lacks some legislation other states have. It would help keep govt money in the state, rather than going to contractors out of the state. I know Arkansas and Louisiana have similar legislation. Basically, it puts out of state businesses at a disadvantage by charging them a percentage of the total job amount, right off the top.

In my industry, there are thousands of people that are pissed off about it. And I really don't see a downside to it.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 06:15 PM
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Sounds like a good idea. Keep Texas money in the Texas economy.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a good idea. Keep Texas money in the Texas economy.
I'll expand on it now, that was posted from my phone.

I'm a manufacturer's rep, in the commercial foodservice industry. This is the quickest rundown I can give.

A city hires an architect to build a new school, school hires consultants/engineers for each individual trade. There are consultants specific to foodservice, which in bid documents is referred to as Section 11400. The people I sell to, are more or less, subcontractors. They all bid on in state business. People in Dallas are competing with people from all over TX, so free market is still in tact. Then you have company X, coming in bidding from Arkansas, or company Y, bidding from Oklahoma, or company Z bidding from Louisiana. If that situation were reversed, a subcontractor from TX bidding on a job in Arkansas or Louisiana, is at an automatic 6% disadvantage. So if the job totals $100,000, the TX sub has to enter his bid at $106,000. That $6000 is a tax paid direct to the state of Arkansas or Lousiana, respectively, if the TX subcontractor wins a bid. Keep in mind, we are talking govt money only. Prisons, schools, etc. Private hospitals, churches, private prisons, etc, is still open. This is ONLY for public money.

What is happening, is the entire local industry is being bastardized. These stumpfucks come in, have no regard for the spec, the consultant, the GC, or the people and companies that worked to earn the business. They switch spec on everything, and I (see mfr's rep) see nothing in commission, on countless hours of work that I put in, in the design process. Obviously, you can see how this gets under our skin. It gets under the skin of the consultant, because they are the ones that take the blame when the sub switches spec for piles of shit. There's a reason certain equipment gets specified, and certain equipment doesn't. They know what's what, as do we all. In addition to all of that, the out of state dealers, have cheaper labor, and can do the job for less when you couple that with switching spec to cheap shit. The problem is, the quality of a job that is demanded here in TX, they are not capable of in most cases, due to their level of skill.

I think this could work two ways.

Situation A - Automatic percentage tacked on to the bid, and paid to the State by winning bidders outside TX upon rewarding of the contract.

Situation B - Done in the form of tax cuts, for TX businesses. This is obviously for the State level, not Federal. That said, that whole granite issue with the 9/11 Memorial would have ended differently with a law like this in place. Still disgusted by that, BTW.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 09:04 PM
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What? I thought Texas had that high end, skilled but cheap Mexican labor? That's what everyone consistently talks about.

Why does that occur in your industry and not mine, or at least I've never seen/heard about it? Just curious. I'm in IT and those schools, etc they get a network infrastructure and we've never seen that. The only bump I've gotten was say I won a job in El Paso, they may make me sub out some local talent for something to support their local economy. What you're saying seems very unfair.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 09:45 AM
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bill white mentioned something like this on NPR a few weeks ago, I dont agree with it, I think tax payers should be able to save as much money as possible, even if that means going out of state to find contractors.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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bill white mentioned something like this on NPR a few weeks ago, I dont agree with it, I think tax payers should be able to save as much money as possible, even if that means going out of state to find contractors.
Dont you think that public money going back in to the local economy does more good than saving a quarter of a percent?



Seriously? Close to 100 views and only 3 have anything to say about an Interstate commerce bill?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 11:16 AM
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we run across the spec issue quite often, though out of state contractors aren't usually a concern because of the licensing issue (electrical) and travel expenses. i do, however, compete with people that will toss alternate lighting, gear, etc packages in their bid that are much cheaper and attempt to get them passed through the gc, architect, engineer, owner, etc...sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don't. it's a pain in the ass when you're competing with someone that's not offering the same product specifications, and the gc (understandably) has to go with the low number because their competitors are.

as far as the original topic...i'd be for it.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 11:30 AM
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Dont you think that public money going back in to the local economy does more good than saving a quarter of a percent?



Seriously? Close to 100 views and only 3 have anything to say about an Interstate commerce bill?
a quarter of a percent could be a lot of money when building a high school, that quarter percent could be several teachers yearly salaries. why would you want to live in a community where every time the community wanted to initiate a public project they would be forced to choose from a list of specific contractors?

Texas is a booming state, buildings get built, roads get fixed, and a lot of the companies doing the construction are from outside the state, but things get done and we do not over burden our tax payers.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 11:44 AM
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a quarter of a percent could be a lot of money when building a high school, that quarter percent could be several teachers yearly salaries. why would you want to live in a community where every time the community wanted to initiate a public project they would be forced to choose from a list of specific contractors?

Texas is a booming state, buildings get built, roads get fixed, and a lot of the companies doing the construction are from outside the state, but things get done and we do not over burden our tax payers.
Imagine where Texas would be if we would have kept our Oil money in Texas rather than let Standard Oil siphon off the majority of the money and send it off to wall street.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 12:09 PM
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Dont you think that public money going back in to the local economy does more good than saving a quarter of a percent?
You know that the sound bite world we live in cares less about the whole picture and more about the spin. The minute something like this passes you get a headline reading "Intrastate commerce waste thousands more..."

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 12:52 PM
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Imagine where Texas would be if we would have kept our Oil money in Texas rather than let Standard Oil siphon off the majority of the money and send it off to wall street.
that would be socialism

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 01:16 PM
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that would be socialism
What the hell are you talking about? People choosing to keep their investments in a local economy is socialism? Or did you mean if our state government supported doing so that would be socialism? lol, now all government regulation is socialism? I would rather state governments taking a bigger role than our national government. Our "village" has gotten too big and people in what seems like other countries are writing our laws and controlling our communities. I am all for containing and growing a strong Texas community.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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What the hell are you talking about? People choosing to keep their investments in a local economy is socialism? Or did you mean if our state government supported doing so that would be socialism? lol, now all government regulation is socialism? I would rather state governments taking a bigger role than our national government. Our "village" has gotten too big and people in what seems like other countries are writing our laws and controlling our communities. I am all for containing and growing a strong Texas community.
FWIW, I'm not even taking the time to respond to his ignorance.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 01:33 PM
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a law that forces people to have to choose a local contractor over a contractor from another state, is a slap in the face to an open free market system. thats government intervention, thats bigger government, thats more bureaucracy, thats exactly what they have in communist china.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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a law that forces people to have to choose a local contractor over a contractor from another state, is a slap in the face to an open free market system.
No, it's not, genius. There are HUNDREDS of companies in TX that do this type of work. Free market would still be very much in tact.

And I'm not saying they have to choose someone local to the metroplex. Hell, that rarely happens as is.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 02:13 PM
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a law that forces people to have to choose a local contractor over a contractor from another state, is a slap in the face to an open free market system. thats government intervention, thats bigger government, thats more bureaucracy, thats exactly what they have in communist china.
You must be an anarchist or a failed socialist playing devil's advocate. Either way you fail to be compelling. Whether it is or isn't sarcasm, it would be a waste of energy to explain to you your own misunderstandings.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 02:16 PM
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No, it's not, genius. There are HUNDREDS of companies in TX that do this type of work. Free market would still be very much in tact.

And I'm not saying they have to choose someone local to the metroplex. Hell, that rarely happens as is.
Ha, not that easy to avoid replying, is it.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 04:34 PM
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No, it's not, genius. There are HUNDREDS of companies in TX that do this type of work. Free market would still be very much in tact.

And I'm not saying they have to choose someone local to the metroplex. Hell, that rarely happens as is.
as long as anybody from anywhere in the world will be able to compete for a contract then you have a free market. as soon as you put a restriction on it, its no longer a free market, it becomes a limited market.

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 04:48 PM
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voting for debra medina would have been a great start.she was all about this.

RON PAUL '08
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 05:07 PM
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The problem is, the quality of a job that is demanded here in TX, they are not capable of in most cases, due to their level of skill.
If this were true wouldn't they be run out on their own for doing shoddy work? That just doesn't sound right to me? If Texas really demanded quality they would hire quality, wouldn't they?

One of your assumptions seems off. Everybody has to follow the same rules/codes ect right?

Sounds to me like the bottom line is somebody else is doing the job cheaper and Texas contractors don't like it.

I think I might be ok with your Situation A worked where the state taxes the foreign bid at a reciprocal rate to the bidder's home state. You charge our guys we charge your guys. That could encourage, but not legislate (which I think is important), people going local by taking away the advantage of hiring a cheaper foreign crew, but like I said before, I don't think you logic adds up.

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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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voting for debra medina would have been a great start.she was all about this.
Preaching to the choir.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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If this were true wouldn't they be run out on their own for doing shoddy work? That just doesn't sound right to me? If Texas really demanded quality they would hire quality, wouldn't they?


Depends on the GC. Consultants, strongly dislike these guys coming in from out of State, because they do so behind the consultant's back, in a way. Each consultant has their list of subs they work well with. Those subs are placed on the "Approved Bidder's List" in the specs. That doesn't mean the GC is limited to using those subs, but that those subs are highly recommended, because they do a good job. These guys that come in from out of state, lowball the shit out of it by switching to lesser quality equipment, with the approval of the GC. That undermines the consultant, the owner, and everyone else involved in the project. Subs here won't do that, because they have a reputation to maintain, with their GCs, consultants, etc. If these local guys ran around doing this, they'd run themselves out of town. When they go direct to the GC for approval on this stuff (I'll add the GC isn't even qualified to make these decisions), it screws everything up. But the out of state dealer doesn't care, because they have nothing to do with local consultants, whereas local subs directly answer to these guys, and the consultant's opinion of them holds a lot of water when it's time to award the bid. A lot of the times, I can tell an Owner "I told you this was going to happen", but it's always too little too late.

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One of your assumptions seems off. Everybody has to follow the same rules/codes ect right?
First, these aren't assumptions. This is the cannibalizing I've seen in this industry over the last 8+ years. To the second part of that, in a sense, yes, but in a sense, no. Yes, everyone has to follow the same code. Code is dictated by municipality. That said, there is no code when it comes to stainless worktables, etc. Where a consultant will design and specify 16 gauge work tops, marine edges, etc, an out of state consultant will come in and provide 20 gauge work tops (shit quality), no marine edge, etc. This all plays big factors in price. The fact that they don't give a shit about their relationship with the consultant, is what allows them to do it. Local dealers don't have the balls to piss a consultant off like that, because these consultants are in a way, their livelihood.

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Sounds to me like the bottom line is somebody else is doing the job cheaper and Texas contractors don't like it.

That's not really the case. Yes, they are doing the job cheaper, because they are providing lesser quality equipment. This results in pissed off end users that have to buy new tables in a year, that weren't budgeted for, because their flimsy ass worktable built of aluminum foil, fell the fuck apart. Yes, their labor is cheaper, which also plays a role, but nothing that can't be overcome by local guys. The whole problem is the lesser quality equipment. They just come in and pitch the GC on their price, and the GC sees a way to make their profit margin go up by hiring the out of state guy. They don't know enough about this trade, to know what works, what won't, where it's feasible to cut costs, and where it isn't. In the end, they get a shitty product that has their name on it too, but all that matters to them is their profit margin. Especially with as many redo's and fuck ups as there are in construction. any penny they can save, they will.

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I think I might be ok with your Situation A worked where the state taxes the foreign bid at a reciprocal rate to the bidder's home state. You charge our guys we charge your guys. That could encourage, but not legislate (which I think is important), people going local by taking away the advantage of hiring a cheaper foreign crew, but like I said before, I don't think you logic adds up.
I should have made it more clear. I'd be perfectly content with a reciprocity agreement. You tax TX businesses to do business in your state, we do the same for your businesses doing business in TX. Oklahoma doesn't have anything like this, so some of our subs in TX go up there for work when it hits a slow period here. But OK subs also come to TX for business, when it's there. There is no disadvantage for either side there though.


Take a current public bid that is going on right now for instance. Dallas ISD has a billion plus bid bond package out right now. They are remodeling some 230 schools. Every fucking dealer in the country is bidding on this shit, because it's a lot of money, and people in the rest of the area are struggling like a mother fucker. Whereas TX, has a strong economy, and hasn't even really slowed down construction of schools, prisons, etc (public money bids). I know these guys are just trying to make it, I just think a level playing field helps all involved. I mean, I REALLY fail to see a downside here. I'm not saying one doesn't exist and that my idea is perfect. I'm very open to all feedback. I just don't see how this is going to hurt us. Our TX subs are getting screwed as it is with certain surrounding states, much less if they were to go try and do a job in NY, CO, CA, etc. I just think leveling the field is going to provide a little much needed relief, and help further reinforce TX's already strong economy.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 06:13 PM
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Other than writing to your state rep, how would one go about getting a bill proposal in front of politicians? Is there any other way?


I'm not a lobbyist, and don't really want to be.

But Texas lacks some legislation other states have. It would help keep govt money in the state, rather than going to contractors out of the state. I know Arkansas and Louisiana have similar legislation. Basically, it puts out of state businesses at a disadvantage by charging them a percentage of the total job amount, right off the top.

In my industry, there are thousands of people that are pissed off about it. And I really don't see a downside to it.
Great idea. It Will never pass as long as Perry is in the seat. If you will notice all of the major road building projects are going to foreign company's. I wonder if he is getting a kick back ?



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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:37 AM
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Depends on the GC. Consultants, strongly dislike these guys coming in from out of State, because they do so behind the consultant's back, in a way. Each consultant has their list of subs they work well with. Those subs are placed on the "Approved Bidder's List" in the specs. That doesn't mean the GC is limited to using those subs, but that those subs are highly recommended, because they do a good job. These guys that come in from out of state, lowball the shit out of it by switching to lesser quality equipment, with the approval of the GC. That undermines the consultant, the owner, and everyone else involved in the project. Subs here won't do that, because they have a reputation to maintain, with their GCs, consultants, etc. If these local guys ran around doing this, they'd run themselves out of town. When they go direct to the GC for approval on this stuff (I'll add the GC isn't even qualified to make these decisions), it screws everything up. But the out of state dealer doesn't care, because they have nothing to do with local consultants, whereas local subs directly answer to these guys, and the consultant's opinion of them holds a lot of water when it's time to award the bid. A lot of the times, I can tell an Owner "I told you this was going to happen", but it's always too little too late.



First, these aren't assumptions. This is the cannibalizing I've seen in this industry over the last 8+ years. To the second part of that, in a sense, yes, but in a sense, no. Yes, everyone has to follow the same code. Code is dictated by municipality. That said, there is no code when it comes to stainless worktables, etc. Where a consultant will design and specify 16 gauge work tops, marine edges, etc, an out of state consultant will come in and provide 20 gauge work tops (shit quality), no marine edge, etc. This all plays big factors in price. The fact that they don't give a shit about their relationship with the consultant, is what allows them to do it. Local dealers don't have the balls to piss a consultant off like that, because these consultants are in a way, their livelihood.




That's not really the case. Yes, they are doing the job cheaper, because they are providing lesser quality equipment. This results in pissed off end users that have to buy new tables in a year, that weren't budgeted for, because their flimsy ass worktable built of aluminum foil, fell the fuck apart. Yes, their labor is cheaper, which also plays a role, but nothing that can't be overcome by local guys. The whole problem is the lesser quality equipment. They just come in and pitch the GC on their price, and the GC sees a way to make their profit margin go up by hiring the out of state guy. They don't know enough about this trade, to know what works, what won't, where it's feasible to cut costs, and where it isn't. In the end, they get a shitty product that has their name on it too, but all that matters to them is their profit margin. Especially with as many redo's and fuck ups as there are in construction. any penny they can save, they will.



I should have made it more clear. I'd be perfectly content with a reciprocity agreement. You tax TX businesses to do business in your state, we do the same for your businesses doing business in TX. Oklahoma doesn't have anything like this, so some of our subs in TX go up there for work when it hits a slow period here. But OK subs also come to TX for business, when it's there. There is no disadvantage for either side there though.


Take a current public bid that is going on right now for instance. Dallas ISD has a billion plus bid bond package out right now. They are remodeling some 230 schools. Every fucking dealer in the country is bidding on this shit, because it's a lot of money, and people in the rest of the area are struggling like a mother fucker. Whereas TX, has a strong economy, and hasn't even really slowed down construction of schools, prisons, etc (public money bids). I know these guys are just trying to make it, I just think a level playing field helps all involved. I mean, I REALLY fail to see a downside here. I'm not saying one doesn't exist and that my idea is perfect. I'm very open to all feedback. I just don't see how this is going to hurt us. Our TX subs are getting screwed as it is with certain surrounding states, much less if they were to go try and do a job in NY, CO, CA, etc. I just think leveling the field is going to provide a little much needed relief, and help further reinforce TX's already strong economy.
Well I will say I know jack about the construction industry so my opinion is hardly an informed one, but it seems like the root problem is quality control from the contractor, and the solution you have come up with really just addresses the symptom.

I don't know how you would do it, but wouldn't it be better to address the GC's lack of caring when their subs stray from specs? As a customer if the plan called for "A" grade widgets, shouldn't I force the GC to make sure I am getting that? isn't that his job? Then why would we go after the subs? (other than the fact that it is easier).

Like I said, uninformed outsider here. The reciprocal tax does sound like a fair, simple solution now that i understand the situation a little better.

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