Keller Prevailing Wage Threshold Legislation Green-Lighted for House Consideration

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Fred Keller (R-Snyder/Union) to raise the threshold of the Prevailing Wage Act from $25,000 to $185,000 (House Bill 1329) was advanced today by the House Labor and Industry Committee to the House floor for consideration.

“House Bill 1329 is intended to allow our free market economy to function without being hampered by government’s hand, and especially, over-inflated union wages,” said Keller.  “This legislation is self-explanatory and straightforward, providing relief from this now 50-year-old unfunded mandate, which is ultimately paid for out of the pockets of every working Pennsylvania taxpayer.”  

Enacted in 1961 with the current $25,000 threshold, Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act establishes “prevailing” minimum wage rates that must be paid on public construction projects.  The rates established under the act reflect union wage rates and grossly distort actual wage rates paid on private sector projects in any given municipality, especially in rural areas.

“The current threshold of $25,000 is archaic and obsolete,” said Keller.  “If the prevailing wage is not completely repealed, it needs to be adjusted to the rate of inflation which equates to approximately $185,000.   Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act has done nothing to improve the overall quality of work on our roads, bridges, schools or any other public construction project.   However, it has certainly succeeded beyond expectations in expanding the size of union contracts, coffers, paychecks and political power.”   

Studies from several different states have consistently indicated that the requirements of state prevailing wage laws elevate the costs of public construction projects anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent.   House Bill 1329 is strongly supported by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Pennsylvania School Boards Association, and other local government organizations.

“My legislation also establishes an automatic adjustment to conform to the Consumer Price Index, ensuring that the threshold is adjusted each year,” said Keller.  “Adjusting the antiquated prevailing wage threshold for inflation is not only common sense, it will allay municipalities, school districts, and ultimately, taxpayers from the brunt of this government-mandated extortion on public construction projects totaling less than $185,000.”  


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State Representative Fred Keller
85th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Ty McCauslin 

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