Pa. weighs cuts to ‘prevailing wage’ for public works

    Pennsylvania House lawmakers are debating proposals that opponents say would mean lower wages to construction workers hired for public works projects.

    Current law sets a prevailing minimum wage that state and local governments must pay.

    Doug Hill of the County Commissioners Association said Mnday the prevailing wage law adds to the cost of every public works project. During tough economic times, he said, it’s too much of a burden.

    “By providing some relief from prevailing wage, we think we can do necessary infrastructure improvements and repairs more expeditiously and at a lower cost to the taxpayer,” Hill said.

    House Democrats say the set wage ensures public projects such as road repairs and school construction attract highly skilled workers.

    The House Majority Leader calls the prevailing wage a “job-crushing” law.

    The series of measures to change it now go to the House for approval.

    Another House committee is expected to consider bills that prohibit the employment of undocumented workers.

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