The Task Force to Study the Applicability of the Maryland Prevailing Wage Law held its second meeting on September 30 to begin discussing the data being collected on school construction projects across the state. Task Force staff presented a sampling of data on 50 school construction projects. Due to the complexity of the school construction funding process, there were many questions about what constituted the estimated project costs – would these be the overall cost of the project, or hard construction costs that are eligible for State funding. The Work Group determined it was best to examine hard construction costs, leaving out items such as architectural and engineering services, and furnishing expenses, which are borne by local governments. With this further guidance from Work Group members, staff will continue to refine the data to determine final project costs for construction, cost per square foot, and cost per student. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the Department of Legislative Services serve as staff.
The Task Force is hoping to glean from the data how the current prevailing wage thresholds apply and affect school construction bids; the effects wages, fringe benefits, and compliance costs have on the overall cost of a construction contract; and whether a project not subject to prevailing wage originally would have been subject to prevailing wage once contract modifications were accounted for.
More information on the composition and charge of the Task Force can be found in a previous pose on Conduit Street.