Counties Oppose Expanding Prevailing Wage Application

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin yesterday testified in opposition to HB 37 Procurement – Prevailing Wage – Applicability before the House Economic Matters Committee. This bill expands Maryland’s prevailing wage law to include projects that have any shared state funds.

From the MACo Testimony:

The bill requires county work projects that are funded using any State funds to pay workers the prevailing wage. Currently, the State’s sensible rule is that the “majority partner” of a project applies such rules. Therefore, projects are subject to the prevailing wage rate when at least 50% of the money used for construction is State money.

Applying the statewide prevailing wage laws applies one standard, regardless of the region of the state, and its own conditions. Since the state’s prevailing wage does not adjust for regional cost of living differences, this would result in a Baltimore-centered analysis applying in rural areas where actual market costs are far less. Locally-adopted prevailing wage programs in multiple jurisdictions, tailored to community needs, would be discarded by HB 37 at the first hint of any state support.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.