HARRISBURG - Legislation aimed at reducing the financial burden on local governments by raising the threshold of the Prevailing Wage Act is being referred to the Senate Labor and Industry Committee this week, according to its prime sponsor, state Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).

Senate Bill 1059 will raise the threshold of the Prevailing Wage Act from $25,000 to $180,000.

The Prevailing Wage Act requires that all public bodies pay the prevailing minimum wage, as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Industry, to workmen on a "public works project". A "public work" is defined in the Act as any construction, repair, demolition, or alteration paid for in whole (or in part) out of the funds of a public body where the total estimated cost exceeds $25,000.

"It is important to note that the prevailing wage threshold has not changed since the 1960's," Yaw said. "There is no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the threshold in current law. At today's cost levels, the $25,000 prevailing wage threshold virtually applies to every infrastructure project. This is a huge financial burden for our local governmental entities."

Yaw circulated his co-sponsorship memo on June 20, 2013 seeking additional support for his bill. To date, Senators Bob Mensch (R-24); Richard Alloway (R-33); Lisa Baker (R-20); Michael Waugh (R-28); Donald White (R-41) and Mike Folmer (48) all have signed on as co-sponsors.

This article was submitted by Sen. Yaw's office.