Sen. Jack Walsh sponsored Senate Bill 156, which would requires that prevailing wages be paid to laborers and mechanics working on all University of Delaware construction sites or renovation projects that exceed a certain cost. The prevailing wages are set by the Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Industrial Affairs, and apply to various classes of laborers and mechanics, according to the county in which the work is performed. Previously, UD’s policy requires payment of prevailing wages on all capital projects funded in whole or in part by the state.
The bill passed the House 31-9-1, with all Democrats voting in favor along with three Republicans. The nine no votes were all from Republicans, with Michael Smith not voting due to a conflict of interest. The Senate also passed the bill 17-3-1, with all Democrats and three Republicans voting in favor and 3 Republicans voting no and Ernie Lopez not voting, possibly due to a conflict, but the voting record is not clear on that.
“Prevailing wage helps level the playing field for high road employers that pay decent wages and benefits and provide good value for taxpayers and law abiding business owners,” said Walsh. “Prevailing wage laws also forestall a race to the bottom among contractors and insures a stable, well-qualified workforce that produces high quality work. Prevailing wage laws have also been found to increase apprenticeship training, boost worker productivity, and reduce injury rates.”
“Institutes of higher education should always strive to set an example to pay their contractors a fair and living wage, and I’m glad that President Assanis and his team at the University of Delaware will support the workers in their community by holding their contractors to the highest standards,” Walsh noted.
|Senate Bill 156 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Walsh, Ennis, Gay, Lockman, Mantzavinos, S.McBride, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend||Senate Passed 17-3-1. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Pettyjohn Richardson||Hocker, Lawson, Lopez (not voting), Wilson|
|Osienski, Baumbach, Brady, Kowalko, Lambert, Lynn, Matthews, Mitchells, Morrison, K.Williams||House Passed 31-9-1. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Dukes Hensley Spiegelman||Briggs King, Collins, D.Short, Gray, M.Smith (not voting due to conflict), Morris, Postles, Shupe, Vanderwende, Yearick|
|Current Status —||Sent to the Governor|