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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2016 10:36 AM
From: Representative Rob W. Kauffman
To: All House members
Subject: Prevailing Wage Elimination - Former House Bill 541
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation (formerly HB 541) that will REPEAL our Commonwealth’s Prevailing Wage Act (Act 442 of 1961). The Prevailing Wage Act requires the Secretary of Labor and Industry to establish “prevailing” minimum wage rates that must be paid on public construction projects. However, the Act does not establish a procedure for how the rates are to be determined. Historically, prevailing wage rates have represented the union wage rates in different localities and have resulted in increased public construction costs of 5% - 20%.

I believe the Prevailing Wage Act no longer works as originally intended. Our School Districts and Municipalities are already struggling to keep taxes under control and to balance their budgets. Repealing this law will be a tremendous help in keeping costs down. I believe this legislation offers an effective means of lowering our School Districts and Municipalities construction costs, and thus, is an effective tool in combating rising property taxes.

Currently, 18 states do not have prevailing wage laws (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia). I am not aware of any issues in these states with the quality of construction of public buildings, or the quality of training or safety of the workforces that construct them.

Previous Co-sponsors: Bloom, Saccone, Mentzer, Marsico, Grove, Cutler, Tallman, Diamond, Fee, Rapp, McGinnis, Metcalfe, Saylor, Everett, Delozier, M. K. Keller, Lawrence, Hickernell, Moul, B. Miller, Phillips-Hill and Dush

Introduced as HB260