Senate Committee Passes Construction Wage Repeal
A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill repealing the state’s common construction wage while also adding new requirements for contractors on public projects.
An amendment added in committee would require contractors to have training programs and liability insurance, and bars them from paying employees in cash.
It also prohibits local governments from passing their own version of the common wage. Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), who authored the amendment, says it ensures workers are well trained and public projects well done.
“That can be done without continuing to allow a broken wage system to continue to operate at a cost to the taxpayer,” Hershman says.
But Sen. John Broden (D-South Bend) says repealing the common wage while requiring governments to accept the lowest bid on a project will create problems.
“It’s going to lead to some poorly-done projects; it’s going to lead to some regrets that are going to show up eight, ten, 12 years after these projects are built,” Broden says.
The committee approved the bill 8-5, with Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) joining Democrats in voting against it.