Prevailing Wage Workgroup to Continue Meeting, Review Legislation Introduced

Due to a lack of consensus among the members, the Task Force to Study the Applicability of the Maryland Prevailing Wage Law will continue to meet during the session to discuss prevailing wage legislation that has been introduced. This meeting has been set for Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm in the Senate Finance Committee.

At this time, the Task Force has two bills to review. SB 204, introduced by Senator Roger Manno, would expand the applicability of the prevailing wage law to all local governments and would define the prevailing wage rate as the combined hourly rates of wages and fringe benefits under a collective bargaining agreement.   SB 232, introduced by Senator Norman Stone, would require prevailing wage rates to be paid for a local project receiving any amount of State funds.  This bill is similar to the legislation last year that was amended to create the Task Force.  MACo is opposed to both of these bills.

The Task Force was created by HB 1098 (Ch. 402, Acts of 2013).  As introduced, HB 1098 would have lowered the State funding threshold for which prevailing wage would apply to a local public work project from 50 to 25%. As amended by the House, HB 1098 would have require prevailing wage rates to be paid for a local project receiving any amount of State funds. MACo opposed the bill in this posture stating that this “one size fits all” approach would significantly undermine a local government’s ability to fund and manage its capital budget. MACo then worked on amendments with the Senate Finance Committee to establish the task force and dropped its opposition to the bill.

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