School Project Prevailing Wage Bill Clears Senate Budget Committee

Feb 5, 2015

Credit Daderot, Wikimedia Commons

Legislation that would exempt officials with some Kentucky school construction projects from paying the prevailing wage easily cleared a senate committee today.  

The State Senate Budget Committee approved the legislation that exempts school construction projects that cost $250,000 or more from paying prevailing wage.  

Bill Sponsor Wil Schroder told members more work could be done for less money, without jeopardizing the quality of the project.  

Tom Shelton, Director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents testified in support of the measure.

"First of all we'd be able to do more renovations, better renovations, more new buildings that we couldn't do," said Shelton. "But, once the building needs are met, it would also free up more money that could be used for other means within the school district."

Members of Kentucky labor organizations spoke out against the bill. 

Bill Finn, Director of the Kentucky State Building and Trades Council says a prevailing wage exemption would drive down incomes in the construction field. He says the profession already suffers from a lack of workers. 

"It's gonna drive down wages of construction workers in Kentucky, which is already a difficult industry to try to attract people to," said Fin. "Prevailing wage helps provide pensions, retirement, a living wage."

Previously, the House has rejected this type of prevailing wage legislation.