The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 1:51 pm

House votes to repeal common construction wage

By Niki Kelly The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana House voted 55-41 to repeal Indiana's law setting wages on public construction projects.

Opponents contend it is the latest assault on unions by Republican lawmakers.

But the vote wasn't party-line. Thirteen Republicans joined 28 Democrats opposing the bill.

Indiana's common construction wage has been in place for 80 years.

Advocates argue that eliminating the law could save governmental units -- and therefore taxpayers -- between 10 percent and 20 percent on construction projects. But opponents say those are wages going into the pockets of Hoosiers to recirculate in the economy.

Under current law, boards set the wages for each state or local project costing more than $350,000. Those five-member boards, which include people appointed by labor unions and an association of non-union contractors, set the wage that any contractor on the building project must pay workers.

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