Three bills designed to lower the cost associated with the use of prevailing wage in public construction are the subjects of public hearings by the House Labor & Industry Committee. Two bills covering job classifications and rates under prevailing wage were discussed on Wednesday, August 10 before the committee. A hearing for the third bill that covers maintenance work on highways is scheduled for the week of August 15 in Harrisburg.

The maintenance bill, HB 1271, would exempt highway maintenance work from the prevailing wage. Five years ago state Supreme Court ruled Borough of Youngwood v. Prevailing Wage Appeals Board, 938 A.2d 1198 that the milling and repaving of a road was non-maintenance and should therefore be subject to the state’s prevailing wage.

HB 1271 clarifies the definition of highway maintenance under the law, effectively removing it from under the umbrella of the prevailing wage

The two other bills do the following: House Bill 1367 would require the calculation of the prevailing wage rate for each county to include federal wage data, a move that would in most instances lower the prevailing wage.

HB 1685 would streamline and clarify the classification of jobs that fall under the prevailing wage.