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Package of Bills Addressing State’s Prevailing Wage Law Passes Committee, Says Kauffman
HARRISBURG – A package of bills aimed at updating Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law and saving taxpayer money was approved by the House Labor and Industry Committee this week and sent to the House floor for a vote, said Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin), a member of the committee and co-sponsor of the package.

The Prevailing Wage Act of 1961 requires workmen on public projects costing more than $25,000 to be paid the prevailing wage in their region. However, how that rate of pay is determined was not part of the original act.

“The lack of parameters in the law for determining the prevailing wage has resulted in taxpayers often paying overinflated costs for public projects, such as new school buildings, municipal offices and local infrastructure jobs,” said Kauffman. “The legislation we passed this week in the committee will help control the costs of such projects and bring Pennsylvania in line with the 31 other states that have similar prevailing wage laws.”

The legislative package is comprised of the following bills:

  • House Bill 709 – Makes the Prevailing Wage Act a local option for school districts by school board referendum.
  • House Bill 1191 – Makes the Prevailing Wage Act a local option for municipalities or school districts by ordinance or referendum.
  • House Bill 1271 – Exempts several basic road maintenance actions from the Prevailing Wage Act. This legislation will be considered on the House floor Wednesday, Oct. 5.
  • House Bill 1329 – Increases the total cost that a public project must exceed in order to fall under the jurisdiction of the Prevailing Wage Act from $25,000 to $185,000, to then be adjusted annually based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
  • House Bill 1541 – Requires a public project to be at least 51 percent publicly funded in order to fall under the Prevailing Wage Act.
  • House Bill 1685 – Requires the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to develop one set of job classification definitions for use by contractors statewide, making compliance with the Prevailing Wage Act’s payment requirements easier for contractors.
“Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act and our local governments and school boards are begging us for relief from a law that places too great a financial burden on them and, subsequently, Pennsylvania taxpayers,” said Kauffman. “I am hopeful we can move this package of bills forward in the legislative process and finally come to an equitable solution for all parties involved.”

All six bills passed the committee largely along party lines and have now been sent to the full House for consideration.

Rep. Rob Kauffman

89th District

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(717) 705-2004

Contact: Tricia G. Lehman

(717) 772-9840

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