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Senate Committee Considering Amendment To Bill That Would Repeal Common Construction Wage

Kyle May

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.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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