HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut lawmakers have approved legislation that allows government agencies to negotiate labor agreements on construction projects.

The House voted 109-to-37 to approve the measure on Monday, following Senate approval last week. It now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has promised to sign it.

Malloy emphasized aspects of the legislation that give the state transportation commissioner more flexibility in directing how high construction and maintenance projects are contracted. The governor says the legislation will make  Connecticut more competitive in applying for critical federal money.

The legislation allows government to negotiate so-called project labor agreements that establish a dispute resolution process between contractors and unions.

Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade association, has criticized such agreements, calling them anti-competitive.

The group says the agreements force contractors and subcontractors to recognize unions.

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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