Amendment to Prevailing Wage Act Would Require Contractors Bidding for Public Works Projects to Be "Responsible Bidders"

On April 18, 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Bill 924 on a 60–50 vote. The bill amends the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (820 ILCS 130/2) to require that all contractors and subcontractors bidding on work subject to the Act satisfy the Illinois Procurement Code's definition of "responsible bidder." 30 ILCS 500/30-22.

To qualify as a "responsible bidder," all contractors and subcontractors would have to meet a series of requirements, three of which may increase costs and reduce the pool of bidders. They are:

  • participate in a U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship program
  • provide proof of extensive insurance coverages, many of which may not be germane to the work being bid
  • maintain an Illinois office as the primary place of employment for persons who will work on the work being bid

The bill is now being considered by the Senate's Labor and Commerce Committee.

HB 924 also would ­­require all contractors and subcontractors to identify and report on a monthly basis, either as part of their certified payroll submissions or monthly manpower utilization reports, the number of hours worked by minorities and females on projects subject to the Act. This new reporting requirement could be a concern to many smaller local governments that do not have minority- and women-owned business participation requirements.

Holland & Knight can provide additional information about the bill. If you are concerned about the impact of this legislation, please contact your state senator.

A copy of HB 924 as adopted by the Illinois House of Representatives is available here.