Ohio's biennial budget bill, Substitute H.B. 153, continues along the legislative path. It passed the House and is currently pending before the Senate Finance Committee. As readers of this blog know, the bill proposes some substantial changes to Ohio's prevailing wage law.
Before passing the House, legislators changed a few of the prevailing wage provisions in the bill. Specifically, legislators:
- reduced the proposed $5 million threshold for certain projects to $3.5 million;
- removed language that would have prohibited a state institution of higher education from requiring prevailing wage on a construction project; and
- added a provision exempting certain projects undertaken by port authorities in Ohio from prevailing wage requirements.
The provisions regarding public/private partnership development projects remained unchanged after the final vote in the House. The same is true for the provisions that alter the enforcement mechanism for prevailing wage complaints.
Currently, as H.B. 153 awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee, the prevailing wage portions of the legislation are the same as they were in the House. It is possible, however, that the prevailing wage law portions of the bill will be addressed in the days ahead.
The state's fiscal year begins on July 1. Thus, labor professionals should know this month whether Ohio law on prevailing wage requirements will be relaxed, and if so, what form those changes may take.