Legislation designed to reform the state’s prevailing wage laws failed to pass the Senate Labor Committee today.
SB 725 and SB 727 were introduced by District 14 Republican Senator Tom Berryhill, who represents Tuolumne County. The prevailing wage laws related to public construction projects were implemented in 1931, and Berryhill claims that they are “badly outdated.”
Berryhill proposed to raise the threshold for eligible projects from the current $1,000 up to $100,000, and adjust the “cost of living scale” so that it takes into account the regional economy. He notes that there is a wide variation between living in Modesto and San Francisco.
“The goal here is to get people working,” said Berryhill. “The outdated prevailing wage laws have created a barrier to building projects and getting people back to work.”
A similar bill was introduced the Assembly last week, and also failed to make it through committee.
It is an issue that the Tuolumne County Supervisors has been watching closely. Approval of prevailing wage reforms was included in the Board’s 2012 legislative platform.