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Supreme Court of Washington
June 2, 2022, Argued; October 13, 2022, Filed
¶1 Whitener, J. — This case concerns whether Substitute [***2] Senate Bill (SSB) 5493,1 constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority. SSB 5493 amended RCW 39.12.015 to modify how the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) industrial statistician calculates prevailing wage rates for public works projects. The revised statute requires the industrial statistician to adopt the prevailing wage from whichever collective bargaining agreement (CBA) covering work in a particular county has the highest wages, if such a CBA exists.
¶2 Associated General Contractors of Washington, Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington Inc., Inland Pacific Chapter of Associate Builders and Contractors Inc., and Inland Northwest AGC Inc. (collectively AGC), filed suit against the State of Washington; Governor Jay Inslee; the director of L&I, Joel Sacks; and the industrial statistician, Jim Christensen, in their official capacities (collectively State), for declaratory and injunctive relief, [*400] arguing that requiring the industrial statistician to use the wages from CBAs constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority. Both parties moved for summary judgment.
¶3 The superior court granted the State’s cross motion for summary judgment, [***3] holding that SSB 5493 is constitutional, and dismissed the case. The Court of Appeals reversed and held that SSB 5493 is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority holding that the amendments have neither the standards nor adequate procedural safeguards as required by the two-part test set forth in Barry & Barry, Inc. v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 81 Wn.2d 155, 163-64, 500 P.2d 540 (1972).
¶4 We reverse the Court of Appeals. ] SSB 5493 is not an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority because it provides standards and procedural safeguards under the test in Barry & Barry. The legislature has made a policy decision to adopt the highest CBA wage rate and has directed the L&I industrial statistician to identify the highest CBA wage rate and adopt it as the prevailing wage. In addition there are procedural safeguards in related statutes and inherent in the collective bargaining process that protect against arbitrary administrative action or abuse of discretionary power. Accordingly, we remand to the Court of Appeals for consideration of the remaining issue not addressed because of its disposition in this case.
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200 Wn.2d 396 *; 518 P.3d 639 **; 2022 Wash. LEXIS 540 ***
Associated General Contractors of Washington et al., Respondents, v. The State of Washington et al., Petitioners.
Prior History: [***1] Appeal from Thurston County Superior Court. 19-2-00377-34. Honorable Christopher Lanese
Associated Gen. Contractors of Wash. v. State, 19 Wn. App. 2d 99, 494 P.3d 443, 2021 Wash. App. LEXIS 2203 (Aug. 31, 2021)
delegation, statistician, industrial, prevailing wage, private party, procedural safeguards, rate of wages, unconstitutional delegation, legislative power, collective bargaining agreement, legislative authority, nondelegation, occupation, prevailing, safeguards, parties, dealer, prevailing wage rate, negotiations, surveys, prevailing rate of wages, summary judgment, determinations, manufacturer, Contractors, violates, schools, wages, common council, protections
Administrative Law, Separation of Powers, Constitutional Controls, Nondelegation Doctrine, Business & Corporate Compliance, Public Contracts Law, Labor Laws, Prevailing Wage Standards, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, Prevailing Wages, Administrative Proceedings, Rulemaking Authority, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Appellate Review, Standards of Review, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Constitutionality of Legislation, Inferences & Presumptions, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Congressional Duties & Powers, Delegation of Authority, State & Territorial Governments, Legislatures, State Constitutional Operation, Agency Rulemaking, State Proceedings, Local Governments, Employees & Officials, Separation of Powers, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Protected Activities