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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2013 11:22 AM
From: Representative David R. Millard
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation to Increase the Prevailing Wage Threshold
In the near future I will introduce legislation which would raise the threshold of the Prevailing Wage Act from $25,000 to $75,000.

The Prevailing Wage Act requires that all public bodies pay the prevailing minimum wage, as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Industry, to workmen on a “public works project”. A “public work” is defined in the Act as any construction, repair, demolition, or alteration paid for in whole (or in part) out of the funds of a public body where the total estimated cost exceeds $25,000.

It is important to note that the prevailing wage threshold has not changed since the Kennedy Administration and that there is no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the threshold in current law. At today’s cost levels, the $25,000 prevailing wage threshold virtually applies to every infrastructure project.

In the meantime, cost-of- living has increased sevenfold, public construction costs have skyrocketed, and our local government organizations are struggling to keep costs down, keep property taxes under control, and balance their budgets.

The US Department of Labor’s CPI Inflation Calculator indicates that if the $25,000 threshold were to be adjusted for inflation, it would equate to roughly $187,576 in today’s dollars. I believe my legislation is an extremely fair, pragmatic proposal which will allow for necessitous projects to be addressed by municipalities and school districts throughout the Commonwealth.

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Introduced as HB796