Topper bill seeks Prevailing Wage Act exemption for schools

State Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin)
State Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin) | Contributed photo
State Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin) led a charge with other legislators in Harrisburg on Wednesday, calling on the House to pass a bill he introduced to reform the state’s obsolete Prevailing Wage Act.

Championing House Bill 707, Topper said school districts need to streamline their funding to achieve their construction needs. Because school building and renovation projects are so costly, school districts are hit particularly hard by the prevailing wage mandate, Topper said.

The bill would allow school construction projects to be exempt from the old regulation, which requires that all public entities pay minimum wage when a project exceeds $25,000.

“We must give our school districts flexibility to forgo burdensome, outdated requirements so that they may keep costs down and balance their budgets,” Topper said.

“Even if the cost is only cut by 10 percent, school districts across the state would save $700 million in construction costs over the course of 10 years,” Topper said. “This is a way to improve education without going to taxpayers to foot the bill.”

House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) said he supports the bill, noting that it would put funds back into school districts.

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Rep. Jesse Topper (R-78)

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