Houghtaling & Downey Bill Expanding Prevailing Wage Passes Assembly

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey issued the following statement regarding the passage of bill A4291, which expands the circumstances under which the prevailing wage must be paid, by the State Assembly today:

“When we take wages out of the equation, contracting companies on public works projects are encouraged to improve the quality, productivity, and efficiency of their teams,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling.

“In the absence of a prevailing wage, we could see a ‘race to the bottom’ that hurts local construction industries and taxpayers alike. By expanding the existing level playing field, we ensure that New Jersey’s infrastructure contractors are fairly managed and encouraged to compete.”

“Our State has gone a long way toward building a system that ensures that workers on public construction projects are paid fairly and competitively,” said Assemblywoman Downey. “This important legislation is a promise to New Jersey’s dedicated workers and laborers that we will continue to support the hard-working men and women who build our schools, roads, and other vital infrastructure.”

A4291 expands the circumstances under which the prevailing wage must be paid with regard to a property that is or will be leased by a public body.

Pursuant to current law, the prevailing wage must be paid on most construction that is considered public work. Public work is construction done on any property, whether or not the work is paid for from public funds, if, at the time of the entering into of the contract the property is owned by a public body or:

(1) not less than 55 percent of the property is or will be leased by a public body; and

(2) the portion of the property that is or will be leased measures more than 20,000 square feet.

This bill lowers the threshold for leased property being subject to the prevailing wage. Under the bill, prevailing wage applies to work if the property is or will be leased by a public body and the portion of the property that is or will be leased measures more than 10,000 square feet.

The bill also lowers the threshold for being subject to the prevailing wage so that all properties leased by public bodies that receive funds from the Economic Development Authority are subject to the prevailing wage.

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey represent New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Assembly, where they work to make the Garden State fairer and more affordable for its hard-working residents. As Chair of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Assemblyman Houghtaling also works to support and protect the food industries, open spaces, and natural resources that make New Jersey “the Garden State,” while, as Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, Assemblywoman Downey oversees legislation regarding the State’s social services programs, including SNAP, Medicaid, and addiction prevention. The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.

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