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State Representatives Craig Riedel and Susan Manchester Announce Permissive Prevailing Wage Legislation

February 19, 2021
Craig S. Riedel News

COLUMBUS— State Representatives Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) and Susan Manchester (RWaynesfield) today introduced a bill that allows political subdivisions, special districts, and state institutions of higher education the permissive choice to elect to apply the Prevailing Wage Law to public improvement projects.

“While prevailing wage has been beneficial for some parties, it can often drive up the cost of local projects beyond general market rates for projects not bound to such requirements,” said Riedel. “The burden of these costs is carried by local government entities, institutions of higher education, and specialty districts, and ultimately passed on to the taxpayers.”

In addition, the bill increases the threshold for prevailing wage mandates for new construction projects from $250,000 to $500,000.

“This bill will allow for many new construction projects by pursuing the free market while protecting taxpayer dollars,” said Manchester. “In our bill, local governments are empowered to make decisions that will deliver the greatest return for their community.”

“The local government entity gets to choose for itself on a job by job basis whether it wants to use prevailing wage. For example, if Summit County wants to use prevailing wage on a project to pave a stretch of road it can choose to do so. At the same time, if Van Wert County decides that it does not want to use prevailing wage to pave a similar stretch of road and instead uses market rates, that likely saves taxpayer dollars, it can do so as well,” Riedel added.

The measure now awaits referral to a House committee.