Richmond, Va. -- This afternoon, two House bills to limit workers’ wages passed the Virginia Senate on a straight party-line vote. Del. Michael Webert’s (R-Marshall) HB145 aims to prevent state agencies from requiring that contractors pay a prevailing wage; Del. Glenn Davis’ (R-Virginia Beach) HB264 revokes localities’ existing authority to require that contractors pay wages or benefits exceeding the minima laid out in state and federal law.

Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), “These bills are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Local jurisdictions enter into contracts. These contracts go out for bids. If local government wants to set parameters within those contracts, they are within their prerogative to do that. It is up to the voters to hold their county and city boards accountable – not us.”

Said Senator Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax), “There is no competitive disadvantage here. Nobody is trying to apply prevailing wages to the private sector. This has to do with public contracts, entered into by elected county boards. People have a chance to toss them out if they don’t approve, or if they feel this is driving up the cost of local government. We have no place meddling in local government affairs when it comes to contracting out.”

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