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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 09:32 AM
From: Representative Francis X. Ryan
To: All House members
In the near future I will be re-introducing legislation (former HB999) to amend the Prevailing Wage Act (Act 442 of 1961) to require that at least 51% of a construction/renovation/repair project be paid for by public monies before it is covered by the act. Currently, the Prevailing Wage Act states that a project in excess of $25,000 that is paid for "in whole or in part" out of public funds is subject to the act. Thus, unfortunately, projects that receive any public money become subject to the act and its requirements.

Many of us have heard of instances where an organization receives assistance for a project from a state agency or a local government agency, only to find out that receiving the money made the project subject to Prevailing Wage Act requirements. The way the act is currently written, a project (over $25,000) could receive $1 of public funding, and subject itself to the act's requirements.

In some instances, the prevailing wage requirements have undermined state economic development programs, because the increased costs of prevailing wage outweigh the economic development incentives offered. In other words, when taxpayer-funded economic development programs are used, state-mandated prevailing wage rules increase the cost of the economic development project.

I believe that this legislation is reasonable in that it simply requires that a majority of a construction project's costs be paid by a public body, and is similar to the requirement in Maryland's prevailing wage law in which the state's financial participation must be "50% or more" before a project can be covered.

Your support of this legislation would be greatly appreciated.

Introduced as HB104