Earlier this year the Ohio Department of Commerce revised the implementation and enforcement of prevailing wage which has the effect of expanding the applicability of prevailing wage on projects with public funding. Republican legislators have been critical of the revised interpretation and have suggested they would pursue legislative clarification.
Last week legislation was introduced to prohibit local governments from barring contractors that have had prevailing wage complaints lodged against them. This week Senator John Carey, Chairman of the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions, announced he would hold hearings next Wednesday and Thursday on soon-to-be-introduced legislation that would exempt any construction project from the state’s prevailing wage requirement if public financing comprises less than 35% of the project’s cost.
Supported by the Ohio Economic Development Association, Senator Carey’s legislative proposal is likely to be met with opposition by labor interests. With only a few weeks remaining before the conclusion of the 127th General Assembly, the prospects for passage may be slim. Members reconsidering Ohio investment in Ohio due to the new interpretation by the state are encouraged to educate policymakers on the problem and the need for a solution.