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October 25, 2023

Two Bills Establishing Responsible Contractor Law Passed PA House, What does this mean for AGMA?

Two bills that would establish a responsible contractor law and apply current Pennsylvania wage rates and minimum safety standards to all contracted construction work passed the House this October. On Wednesday, October 18th, the state House of Representatives passed H.B. 1449 and H.B. 1465. Both bills now head to the state Senate for consideration.

What does this mean for AGMA? Join us on November 13, 2023 at AGMA’s Annual Membership Meeting to learn more, however, in the meantime, know that AGMA is watching these two bills with great interest especially because the bills contain language regarding the definition of apprenticeship programs, the definition of a journeyperson, etc. which can directly impact AGMA employer participation on public works projects. For example,

HB 1449 ) A purchasing agency: (1) Shall only award a public work contract to a contractor that meets the requirements of this subchapter including

an apprenticeship training program that is approved by and registered with the Department of Labor and Industry under the act of July 14, 1961 (P.L.604, No.304), known as The Apprenticeship and Training Act, and that provides for on-the-job training, classroom training and the graduation of apprentice trainees to journeyperson status….

(5) Ensure that all construction workers employed on the public work project and the prime contractor or onsite supervisor have completed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour construction training course established by the United States Department of Labor…

(2) Ensure that 70% of workers employed for the construction of a public work project are skilled craft laborers. “Skilled craft laborer.” A member of a trade who: (1) is a journeyperson who has work experience equivalent to the total number of on-the-job training hours required by the applicable apprenticeship program; or (2) graduated from or is currently enrolled in an apprenticeship program.

This bill is sponsored by state Rep. Josh Siegel (D-Lehigh). It 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 prevailing rate.

House Bill 1465

This bill is sponsored by state Rep. Dave Delloso (D-Delaware). It would apply the Prevailing Wage Act to investor-owned utilities, such as water, sewer and gas. 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 and gas.