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Republicans want prevailing wage to be part of budget talks

June 8, 2017

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Republican lawmakers say changes to Delaware’s prevailing wage laws need to be part of discussions with Democrats as lawmakers try to hammer out a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Under state law, the Labor Department sets minimum wage rates for laborers and mechanics on certain public works projects. The rates are based on employer surveys in each county and often driven by union wages.

Critics say the prevailing wage needlessly drives up the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects.

Republicans are circulating a bill to exempt local governments from the prevailing wage requirements for three years.

Democrats, including Gov. John Carney, are opposed to the idea, which has become a bone of contention as lawmakers try to agree on a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

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