Saturday, June 28

Governor reinforces Prevailing Wage Act

Public work contracts must pay prevailing rate of wages

[JUNE 28, 2003]  ROCK ISLAND -- Continuing to protect working families and encouraging responsible employers, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation June 25 that strengthens the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act by requiring enforcement, accountability and assurances of the prevailing wage law for contractors and subcontractors on state projects. The signed legislation accompanies another law the governor recently approved, Senate Bill 1212, which expands the prevailing wage act to include all Illinois FIRST projects.

"Together, House Bill 3398 and Senate Bill 1212 dramatically improve the Prevailing Wage Act and give the Department of Labor the tools they need to enforce the law," Blagojevich said during the bill-signing ceremony at the IBEW office, 1700 52nd Ave. The governor visited Rock Island as past of his 13-county tour of northwest Illinois.

House Bill 3398 affirms the requirement that any public body awarding a public works contract must pay the prevailing rate of wages to all laborers. Also, by stipulating that the contractors state in their bid that prevailing wages will be paid and post a current copy of the prevailing wage, the measure eliminates excuses of contractors unaware of their prevailing wage responsibilities.

Further, the new law requires that contractors must maintain detailed employment records from public works projects for three years, including the hourly wages paid and how many hours worked each day. To give backup to the law, the Department of Labor now has the authority to require sworn statements from contractors to confirm the accuracy of their records.


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Senate Bill 1212, another prevailing wage bill signed by the governor, expands the act's coverage to include all Illinois FIRST projects and all projects funded in whole or in part by public funds, including ethanol plants.

"These bills ensure that every tax dollar we spend will help the working families of Illinois. They mean good jobs that guarantee good wages." Blagojevich said. "When we pay prevailing wages on public work projects, we build more than just roads, bridges and buildings; we help build communities and grow the local economy."

The legislation was sponsored in the House by state Reps. Jack McGuire, D-Joliet; Jack Franks, D-Woodstock; and Robert Rita, D-Blue Island; and in the Senate by state Sens. Lawrence Walsh, D-Elwood, and Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa.

[Illinois Government News Network
press release]

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