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Common Wage Law repeal heads to Senate, contractors rally

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Workers rallied at the Statehouse Monday over the looming repeal of the Common Construction Wage Law. Democrats are fighting for the unions, but Republicans say public projects can be done well without the common wage law in place.

Under the law, cities, counties and school corporations form five-member committees that meet about every three months to adopt wage scales for each type of worker on public projects. The wages usually match up with those earned by union workers and apply to locally funded capital projects valued at $350,000 or more.

Supporters of the bill that would repeal that law say it will lower project costs. Opponents say it will hurt workers and doesn’t provide much savings overall.

The bill would have to pass three more votes before heading to the governor’s desk. In the Senate we expect to see more Republicans oppose it and likely some who will attempt to delay the repeal by seeking a summer study committee.

Ahead of the possible repeal, South Bend leaders passed a resolution stating the city will continue using common construction wage rates, but that ordinance would be prohibited under an amendment that’s since been added to the bill moving through the Senate. Many hope even if the repeal passes, that amendment will be removed so local control remains in place.

The rally was organized by the Indiana Building Contractors Alliance.