Senate panel OKs bill on construction wages

February 25, 2000

The Senate Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved yesterday union-backed legislation intended to improve wages for school construction workers. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

The Glendening administration bill would require that workers on many school construction and renovation contracts be paid the "prevailing wage" in their region, as is the case with other state public works projects. A number of Republicans call it payback for the support unions have given Glendening in his election campaigns.

Many Republicans and some contractors oppose the legislation, arguing it will raise the cost of building schools, claims that the administration disputes. Two of four Republicans on the Finance Committee supported the bill yesterday, joining the six Democrats present for an 8-2 vote.

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