Senate Committee Considering Amendment To Bill That Would Repeal Common Construction Wage
Opponents of legislation eliminating Indiana’s common construction wage say an amendment proposed in a Senate committee is a step forward but won’t fix the bill.
Critics of the bill repealing Indiana’s common wage – largely union contractors – say it could lead to out-of-state companies using unskilled, transient workers on public projects. Buck Creek Republican Senator Brandt Hershman’s amendment keeps the repeal in place but would impose new requirements on contractors. Contractors would have to e-verify their workers’ legal status, they would be barred from paying their employees in cash, and contractors with at least ten workers would have to have a training program. Force Construction President Harold Force says those changes are positive steps toward a reasonable public policy.
“However, it is my opinion that they do not fully offset the damage that would be done by repeal of the common construction wage,” says Force.
Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana President J.R. Gaylor – whose non-union group supports the bill – says he likes the amendment but wants to see language added that would ensure local municipalities don’t enact their own versions of the common wage. The Senate committee will vote on the amendment and bill next week.