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  • Writer's pictureCenter for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA)

Legislative Spotlight: Prevailing wage laws for construction contracts (MoCo Council)

Today, Council Chair Tom Hucker is introducing Bill 35-21, “Prevailing Wage Requirements – Construction Contracts – Amendments.” This bill, if enacted, would affect prevailing wage laws for construction contracts. Prevailing wages are defined as rates for wages set by the Department of Labor (DOL) that employers with government contracts or foreign workers are mandated to pay their employees.

Prevailing wage rates vary by location but are set by the average employee with similar jobs earn in the area. There are federal prevailing wage rates but many states such as Maryland have laws requiring employers who accept state contracts to pay the prevailing wage rate. The Maryland Department of Labor has set the Prevailing Wage for prime contractors and subcontractors who perform work on state or political subdivision construction contracts including school construction where the contract value at $250,000 or greater with state funding of 25% or more.

Bill 35-21, would expand the applicability of the County’s prevailing wage law to include a County financed construction contract with a value of $250,000 or more as opposed to the $500,000 or more prevailing wage rate currently in Montgomery County. This change would align the County with current state law. The bill also includes a local hiring mandate for at least 51% of the new jobs for the County financed construction contract to include local workers who reside in the County.

The also has reporting requirement for contractors to submit each quarter. The bill states if a contractor is late in submitting their reports the County may postpone payments due under the contract until it is submitted. The following information must be submitted:

  1. The number of employees needed for the contract;

  2. The number of current employees transferred;

  3. The number of new job openings created;

  4. The number of job openings listed in the department;

  5. Describe efforts made to fill the open positions with local 90 county residents;

  6. The total number of Montgomery County residents hired for the reporting period and for new hires:

    1. Name

    2. Last four numbers of their social security number;

    3. Job title;

    4. Address; and

    5. Hire date.

As stated before the bill will be introduced today and a public hearing is tentatively scheduled for November 2nd at 1:30 p.m. If more information is needed, contact Council Chair Tom Hucker.

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