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Olszewski announces legislation to support Baltimore County workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Johnny Olszewski introduces new police reform legislation
Posted at 3:37 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 15:48:44-04

BALTIMORE COUNTY — Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced plans to introduce prevailing wage and local hiring legislation to support Baltimore County’s workforce and ensure workers hired for County-funded capital improvement projects receive competitive and fair wages.

Baltimore County would join the state of Maryland, as well as four local jurisdictions—Baltimore City, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County— that currently have prevailing wage laws.

Under the proposed legislation, construction companies awarded County contracts will be assured a standard rate of pay set by the State of Maryland's annual wage determination surveys of construction company employers.

Prevailing wages would be required for all County-funded capital projects valued at $300,000 and above.

Montgomery and Charles County each require prevailing wages for projects valued at $500,000 and above. Prevailing wages are required for all county-funded capital construction projects in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City requires prevailing wages for projects valued at $5,000 and above.

The legislation would also require that at least 51 percent of all new jobs required to complete these projects are filled by Baltimore County residents.

This employee data will be reported to the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development. Ensuring increased employment opportunities for local residents will be critical as Baltimore County continues its economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, prevailing wage laws have been tied to significant secondary economic benefits, such as:

  • Increasing the likelihood that workers have health insurance coverage.
  • Reducing the likelihood that workers earn an income below the poverty level.
  • Reducing the likelihood that workers utilize public assistance programs.
  • Increasing the likelihood that projects are completed by local workers, putting money directly back into the local economy.

The bill will be officially introduced during Monday evening’s Baltimore County Council meeting.