Lawmaker Proposes Prevailing Wages Exemption Bill - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Lawmaker Proposes Prevailing Wages Exemption Bill

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As the Erie School District looks to rebuild the fire damaged Erie High School, State Representative Brad Roae is pushing for legislation that could save school districts money.

It's called House Bill 1479.  

According to Roae, districts that are in financial recovery mode or under financial watch status would be allowed to forgo the prevailing wage law.  The law sets the pay rate for many construction projects.

Roae says the new legislation would reduce future construction costs by as much as 30 percent.

According to Roae, the legislation helps the most financially distressed school districts, like Erie, save millions of dollars.

If approved, the bill would go into effect two months after it is passed, so it won't affect the current project at Erie High School.  However, Roae says it would affect future Erie School District construction and renovation projects.

Erie news Now asked Roae if local unions should be concerned.

“99.9% of all government constructions in PA would still be under the prevailing wage law,” said Roae.  “There's only 10 school districts that are in financial watch or financial recovery status.  No city, county, or municipal projects would be impacted.  This is just for 10 school districts."

The bill will now head to the PA House for a vote.

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