Warnick, Manweller sponsor Taylor Bridge Fire reconstruction legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 31, 2013

CONTACT: Sarah Stewart, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7720 Rep. Judy Warnick – (360) 786-7932 Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer(360) 786-7794 Rep. Matt Manweller – (360) 786-7808                     

Warnick, Manweller sponsor Taylor Bridge Fire reconstruction legislation

  Months after devastating wildfires in Central Washington, 13th District representatives are sponsoring legislation to speed up and reduce the costs of rebuilding.
Reps. Judy Warnick and Matt Manweller introduced House Bill 1249 to temporarily suspend the prevailing wage for public projects involved in reconstruction after the Taylor Bridge fire. On Jan. 30, the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on the bill.   “Right now we need to be focused on getting things back the way they were before the fire,” said Warnick, R-Moses Lake. “This legislation will help reduce costs and provide opportunities for smaller contractors and volunteers from our area to take part in reconstruction. This will also be a good test case for suspending the prevailing wage in special cases.”   Current state law requires employees of public work projects to be paid prevailing wages. Prevailing wage is determined by the Department of Labor and Industries for each trade and occupation that is involved in a project at the cost of the state. These wages are typically the same as those negotiated by construction unions which are well above market wages and thereby eliminates competition in contracting and drives up the cost of construction projects.   “Last year, the fires in Kittitas County caused great devastation. We wanted to do everything in our power to streamline the road to recovery,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “Our bill won’t solve all the fire-related problems, but it would stretch our recovery dollars to help more people.”   If passed into law, the exemption would expire July 1, 2015. The legislation must be scheduled for a vote by the committee in order to move forward. The 2013 session is scheduled to last 105 days.

For more information, visit our Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov