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State Lawmaker Proposes Ending Prevailing Wage Law For Public Construction Projects

Ohio Public Radio

A state senator is proposing a bill giving local governments more control over what they pay construction workers on public projects. But critics say it will end up cutting wages. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

Republican Senator Matt Huffman of Lima wants the state to stop mandating that government funded projects use the so-called prevailing wage, a uniform wage for different trades and labor groups.


Instead, under Huffman’s bill, local governments could decide to use the market rate if they’d like. He says the prevailing wage inflates the cost of new buildings and capital improvements.


Huffman: “The taxpayers are being represented by these individual elected officeholders and administrators and their hands are tied in terms of determining the best price because of the state mandate.”


Advocates for contractors and construction workers say multiple studies have shown that getting rid of the prevailing wage won’t make projects any cheaper.

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