Tomorrow there will be a hearing regarding HB1592 – “AN ACT relative to requiring prevailing wages on state-funded public works projects." The hearing will be held at 2:30 in LOB 307 at the State House. The House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee will be holding the hearings. What is a ‘prevailing wage’ you ask? From Wikipedia:
In government contracting, a prevailing wage is defined as the hourly wage, usual benefits and overtime, paid to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics within a particular area. Prevailing wages are established by regulatory agencies for each trade and occupation employed in the performance of public work, as well as by State Departments of Labor or their equivalents.
This bill is sponsored by pro-union Democrats Weed, Watters and Goley. The links on their names show their pro-union/anti-worker freedom voting records in New Hampshire. This bill will increase the size of government by adding compliance officers to the tune of over $250,000 annually. On top of that the Department of Administration makes the point that the true cost is indeterminable because they don’t actually know what the prevailing wage will be set at. Not only does this bill require construction companies pay the ‘prevailing wage’ but it also requires construction companies provide the same benefits in order to work on state-funded construction projects. New Hampshire does not currently have a prevailing wage. As a matter of fact, the prevailing wage that was in existence previously was repealed in 1985.
What this bill will do is increase the cost to Granite Staters any time a construction job is necessary and paid for by the state if they are $500,000 or over in total cost. The increased cost isn’t pretty – it will cost taxpayers millions of dollars more than they are already paying. When you look at the current wages in the construction industry in New Hampshire, you’ll see that there is absolutely no need for this bill. Construction workers are paid decent wages for the work they do already. So this bill has nothing to do with workers’ wages.
This bill will decrease competition for big construction jobs in New Hampshire because they will all be charging an exorbitant amount now. If everyone is offering the job at the same price, what is the point of ‘competitive bidding’? This bill isn’t about workers’ wages; kills competitive bidding and will increase costs of projects to taxpayers by millions of dollars. Doesn’t sound like a very good piece of legislation does it? Why are they pushing this? It’s all a union payback. The unions help get Democrats elected so this is the Democrats’ way of paying them back. It is beyond reproach that Democrats would actually hurt New Hampshire and its taxpayers all to help their union buddies but that is exactly what they are doing.