Prevailing Wage Bill Goes to Governor

Date: May 20, 2016 Last Edit: May 31, 2016

SB 2964, which would require the prevailing wage be set by collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), passed the House this week and now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The bill, which was opposed by business groups and local governments, passed the House with bipartisan support. Organized labor, mainly the Operating Engineers, pushed lawmakers hard on the bill.
If it becomes law, SB 2964 would tie the hands of the Illinois Department of Labor as they attempt to calculate the prevailing wage throughout the state. Current law allows the Department to survey contractors, union and nonunion, in an attempt to find the prevailing rate for public works projects.  

This bill simply turns the collective bargaining agreements for the area into the prevailing wage rates. The bill also prevents local governments from attempting to calculate their own wage rates.

NFIB is opposed to the measure and believes simply using CBAs will drive up costs and prevent nonunion contractors from even bidding on public works projects.  
Labor argued that for decades this is how prevailing wage has been calculated. Labor grew “alarmed” when Governor Rauner took office and his Department of Labor started to survey nonunion members to better understand local wage rates. Evidently, according to Labor’s testimony, they don’t trust the governor and want to codify a long-standing practice of simply using union scale for prevailing wage.
Governor Rauner is expected to veto the bill. Both chambers would need to override the veto with a supermajority of votes, which is 71 in the House and 36 in the Senate. Tell your legislators to vote “no” on any attempt to override the governor’s veto!

Related Content: Small Business News | Illinois | Labor

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