Maryland's new prevailing wage law for elementary and secondary school construction projects (HB 727 / SB 232 from the 2014 General Assembly session) is in effect. This law requires all such construction projects costing more than $500,000 and receiving more than 25% of their funding from the State to pay the prevailing wage rate. Previously, the prevailing wage law only applied if the State paid for at least 50% of the cost of the project.
The law applies to all elementary and secondary school construction procurement contracts executed on or after July 1, 2014, and supersedes any local laws that may have exempted certain projects in the past from paying the prevailing wage rate. The University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and Maryland Stadium Authority, however, are all exempt from the law.
The Commissioner for the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry determines the prevailing wage rate, which is designed to reflect the hourly rate paid for comparable work in the private sector for each locality in the State (the 23 counties and Baltimore City). The Maryland Department of Legislative Services (DLS) has estimated that the local share of school construction costs may increase by as much as 5% because of the law, although there have not been any conclusive results yet to support whether the DLS estimate is correct.
In addition to its recent application to elementary and secondary school construction projects under HB 727 / SB 232, the State's prevailing wage rate also applies to all other construction projects costing $500,000 or more if: (1) the contracting public body is a unit of State and there is any State funding for the project; or (2) the contracting public body is a political subdivision, agency, or entity of the State (like a county) and the State funds 50% or more of the project.