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Indiana Senate Votes to Gut Indiana’s Common Construction Wage Law

Despite furious calling, emailing and political outreach effort by the Indiana Building Trades unions, the Indiana Senate this week passed HB 1216, an altered form of a previous wage-crushing bill, by a 27-22 vote.

The bill next goes to back to the Indiana House for a concurrence vote (a vote to agree with the Senate changes). If the concurrence vote passes, it goes to the governor for approval and will most likely become law.

The Senate changes to HB 1216 include the following:

1) Stripping the Common Construction Wage determinations of apprenticeship language and the definitions of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled, thus leaving the statute without definition and unenforceable;

2) Giving the “Industry” appointee on the 5-member Common Construction Wage to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and taking the appointment away from the awarding agency, thus boxing out union contractors (The ABC is a fierce anti-union lobby).

3) Removing the requirement that ABC and Building Trades wage information submitted to wage committees be done under penalty of perjury.

As the bill left the House, it already increased the threshold at which Common Construction Wages are enforced from $150,000 to $250,000 starting January 1, 2012 and to $350,000 by January 1, 2013. These increases remove wage scales from almost 50% of public works projects in Indiana.

In the House, HB 1216 passed previously by a vote of 54-44. This vote will most likely occur on Thursday, but could take place earlier.


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