RELEASE: Governor Brown Signs SB7
New Law will Link Local Funding, Prevailing Wage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 14, 2013
Contact: Dale Howard
SACRAMENTO - Governor Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 7, a bill that ties the receipt of state funding of city construction projects to local prevailing wage policy.
“California’s prevailing wage laws have helped grow our middle class since they were first implemented in the 1930s. Since then, cities have reaped the benefits - including more projects being completed on-time and on-budget, a safer work environment, more good paying local jobs, and more quality training opportunities for workers,” said Dale Howard, spokesperson for Smart Cities Prevail.
“Often, these benefits even come at a lower cost to taxpayers than projects that pay workers less. It is a win for middle class workers, and the communities where they live,” Howard continued. “Research has shown that for every dollar spent on a prevailing wage project in a community, $1.50 in economic activity is generated. This boosts local small businesses, as well as the middle class.”
Prevailing wage is the standard rate paid to a worker in a given trade, in a given region. Both non-union and union contractors perform prevailing wage work. The rate varies from region to region and is typically lower in rural areas than in large cities.
Howard concluded, “Prevailing wage not only boost the local economy, but it can also ensure that local tax dollars being spent on constructions projects stay in the local community. In the recent case of two libraries - one built in Gilroy with prevailing wage workers and on built in Palo Alto without - work on the prevailing wage project went to local contractors over 71% of the time and was completed on-time and on-budget, while less than 12% of the work on the non-prevailing wage project in Palo Alto went to local contractors. Further, that project has suffered numerous setbacks and delays, and still isn’t complete.”
SB7 would only grant charter cities state construction funds if they comply with prevailing wage provisions on all of their public works projects. The bill would exclude contracts for projects of $25,000 or less for construction work, or projects of $15,000 or less for alteration, demolition, repair, or maintenance work.
SB 7 will take effect January 2014.
Smart Cities Prevail is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing complete research and education on the benefits of prevailing wage. The organization does not take a position on pending state legislation.