An archaic Pennsylvania law may be stretching your school district’s budget or preventing a construction project in your area from getting off the ground. The law in question is the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act. It was enacted in 1961 to protect construction workers from out-of-state competition, and mandates contractors pay inflated wages on all government-funded construction projects in excess of $25,000.
This law unnecessarily increases costs to taxpayers by requiring state and local governments, including school districts, to pay more in wages and benefits than they otherwise would, and more than construction contractors pay for the same work on private projects. The mandate also means less funding to complete other construction projects.
Fortunately, we have an opportunity to fix prevailing wage. Pennsylvania lawmakers are currently debating increased funding for transportation, including a discussion of prevailing wage reform. Ending prevailing wage ensures taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck.
To read more on prevailing wage reform, check out our policy points on Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law.