House Approves Elimination Of Common Construction Wage
House lawmakers Monday voted to eliminate Indiana’s common construction wage, a kind of minimum wage for public construction projects.
The common construction wage, a decades old practice in Indiana, is set by local wage boards for each individual public construction project. Kokomo Republican Representative Mike Karickhoff, an Ivy Tech official and former parks superintendent, says he’s sat on some of those local wage boards in his career. He’s opposed to repealing the common construction wage, an issue he says is about local control.
“Either we’re going to entrust our local officials to decide who does the business and what that labor rate is going to be paid, or who does not," says Karickhoff.
But Carmel Republican Jerry Torr, the bill’s author, says the common construction wage represents unnecessary costs to taxpayers.
“It costs taxpayers money just to have the wage hearings," says Torr. "It also costs the taxpayers money by this five-member panel setting an artificial minimum wage.”
The bill passed 55 to 41, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats in opposition. It now heads to the Senate.