PA House Labor & Industry Committee approves infrastructure legislation

HARRISBURG, June 22 – During a voting meeting Thursday, the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee reported two pieces of legislation, H.B. 1449 and H.B. 1465, out of committee and to the House floor.

House Bill 1449, sponsored by state Rep. Josh Siegel, D-Lehigh, would establish a statewide responsible contractor law, setting clear requirements that firms bidding on publicly funded infrastructure projects must meet and requiring firms to have a state or federal registered apprenticeship program and pay the prevailing wage rate.

“One needs to look no further than the recent collapse of I-95 and its expedient repair by our skilled tradesmen and women to know we need to seriously invest in our infrastructure and in the continued training of skilled laborers in the commonwealth,” said state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., majority chair of the House Labor and Industry Committee. “This legislation would ensure that Pennsylvania has a skilled craft labor workforce that will bolster our infrastructure and build our state’s future.”

House Bill 1465, sponsored by state Rep. Dave Delloso, D-Delaware, would apply the Prevailing Wage Act to investor-owned utilities, such as water, sewer, gas and electric providers. The legislation would apply the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s prevailing wage rates and minimum safety standards to all contracted construction work completed on underground utility systems that are regulated by the Public Utility Commission, including water, sewer, gas and electric.

“Utilities are a critical piece of public infrastructure and, as such, should be done by a qualified workforce to the highest safety and construction standards,” Dawkins said.