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Townships support wage resolution

Ashley Andyshak Hayes

(5/2) More than a dozen Adams County townships have passed a resolution supporting legislation that would change the state's Prevailing Wage Act.

The Prevailing Wage Act, passed in 1961, sets minimum wage rates that must be paid to workers on public projects.

Bills currently proposed in the House of Representatives would raise the budget threshold of projects to which prevailing wage applies from $25,000 to $185,000.

The bills would also establish a cost-of-living index to ensure that prevailing wage rates are adjusted for inflation.

The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors is encouraging all of its member townships to contact their legislators in Harrisburg to express support of the legislation.

To date, 13 Adams County townships, including Hamiltonban and Highland, have passed a resolution supporting the changes.

Supporters of the legislation say that the current prevailing wage rules drive up the cost of public projects for many municipalities and school districts across the state.

Critics of the reform bills refute the argument that prevailing wage drives up project costs, and say that the Prevailing Wage Act encourages projects to hire highly skilled, local workers.

PSATS does not have a deadline for townships to pass resolutions in support of the prevailing wage legislation, but Holly Fishel, director of research and policy development for PSATS, said that the organization would like townships who plan to pass the resolution to do so sooner rather than later in hopes that the legislation will be passed this spring.

Townships that have passed the resolution in support of the changes to the Prevailing Wage Act include Butler, Conewago, Cumberland, Franklin, Germany, Hamilton, Hamiltonban, Highland, Mt. Pleasant, Oxford, Straban, Tyrone, and Union, according to information provided by PSATS.

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