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Corzine Signs Prevailing Wage Mandate For Contractors On Public Utility Projects - (1/17/2008)

PHILADELPHIA--Contractors that perform construction work on a New Jersey public utility will be required to pay prevailing wage rates to the workers they employ on the project, as a result of legislation (A. 4619) signed by New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D) Jan. 13.

The bill, which was approved by votes of 29-9 in the state Senate and 60-17 in the lower chamber Jan. 7, will take effect in six months and apply to construction contracts entered into after the effective date.

Construction work is defined in the bill to include construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, restoration, and alteration of any public utility facilities.

The measure specifically excludes operational work, such as snow plowing, vegetation management in and around utility rights of way, mark-outs, janitorial services, landscaping, leak surveyors, flaggers, meter work, and miscellaneous repairs. The bill does not apply to unregulated affiliates of public utilities.

Workers will have to be the paid prevailing wage rate for their craft or trade as set by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

OSHA Certification Required

In addition, contractors working on a public utility construction project can employ only workers who have successfully completed a safety training program certified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that is required to work on the site.

The bill was amended on the Assembly floor prior to passage to eliminate a requirement that utility construction contractors provide apprenticeship programs.

This is the second prevailing wage measure signed by Corzine this month. On Jan. 4, the governor signed legislation (S. 2247) requiring the payment of prevailing wages on construction projects by or for companies that use state economic development funds to start or expand their operations. That measure confirms the Legislature's intent under existing law to require prevailing wages on construction projects that receive financial assistance through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, including assistance from the state's Business Employment Incentive Program (53 CLR 1415, 1/9/08) a0b5q1e3w0 .

Text of New Jersey A. 4619 is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/A5000/4619_R2.PDF.End of article graphic

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