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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2020 09:09 AM
From: Representative Francis X. Ryan
To: All House members
Subject: LEGISLATION: Prevailing Wage Act Reform for Local Road Maintenance (Former HB613)
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation from last session which proposes to amend the Prevailing Wage Act to provide a clear definition of what actions taken with respect to local road repairs are subject to the act's requirements. "Maintenance work" is exempt from the act's requirements and the term is defined in the act as "the repair of existing facilities when the size, type, or extent of such facilities is not thereby changed or increased.

To determine what maintenance work is considered to be with respect to roads, municipalities use to rely on a publication issued by PennDot entitled “Policies and Procedures for the Administration of the County Liquid Fuels Tax Act of 1931 and The Liquid Fuels Tax Act 655” (Publication 9), effective January 2003. In addition, a subsequent unsigned and undated MOU (dated 4/29/2005, PennDOT Publication 51, Bid Package Preparation Guide, Exhibit 4A) between PennDot and the Department of Labor & Industry clarified the Publication 9 guidelines for what road repair work was considered "maintenance work" and thus exempt from the Prevailing Wage Act. It is important to note that, in general, municipalities appeared to be content with these guidelines. This legislation will put "into statute" these guidelines.

As you may recall, I introduced House Bill 665 in the 2013-2014 session which dealt with the same issue, and this bill was voted out of the House Labor & Industry Committee. This bill would have provided a definition for maintenance work on all road work, including those roads repaired by PennDot with state monies. After discussion with local government groups, I have decided to rewrite this bill to only apply its new road maintenance standards to road work funded by local monies.

Like HB 665, my legislation will countermand the Commonwealth Court decisions issued in 2006 and 2007 (Ebensburg and Youngwood) which ruled that previously exempt road repair actions (curb/sidewalk replacement and milling/repaving) are subject to the Prevailing Wage Act.

This legislation proposes to put “into statute” road repair guidelines that municipalities, traditionally followed, and accepted. It does not address how the Prevailing Wage Act is applied to state road work. This legislation is strongly supported by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

Please join me in sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1744