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Democratic Leader Heard Warns Against Continued Attacks on Ohio's Middle Class

House Bill 190 to virtually eliminate prevailing wage, reduce pay for middle class workers
June 19, 2013
Democrat Newsroom

Today, Ohio House Democratic Leader and State Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) denounced House Bill 190, a bill to dramatically increase the prevailing wage threshold to $3.5 million for state funded construction projects. Ohio will soon be in the third phase of raising the prevailing wage threshold to $250K, as prescribed by HB 153 of the 129th General Assembly.

“This bill would encourage disreputable out of state contractors to flock to Ohio, bringing their undertrained, underpaid workers with them and depressing the wages of hard working Ohio men and women-- union and non-union alike,” said Leader Heard. “For Republicans in the Statehouse to talk about the importance of creating Ohio jobs, then propose a bill that directly undercuts quality jobs for Ohioans is both derisive and hypocritical.”

HB 190 is scheduled to receive a second hearing this afternoon in the House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Technology. The provisions in HB 190 were initially offered by House Republicans as an amendment to the state budget bill, HB 59, on the House floor. The measure was soundly rejected through a voice vote of the chamber.

Leader Heard also serves as the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) chair of minority business, where she and the entire OLBC have worked tirelessly to ensure access and inclusion for minority and small businesses.

“This bill is counter to all efforts to expand and include – it will undoubtedly hurt minority contractors,” Leader Heard added. “When people are providing a solution in search of a problem, you have to wonder ‘Why?’. “When we slash the wages of middle class and minority workers in our state, it creates an economic ripple that negatively affects us all by taking purchasing power out of the hands of working families, and diminishing in-state demand for goods and services. It is bad public policy.”