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Time to prevail on wage issue

| Monday, March 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Thank you for the editorial “Kill the ‘prevailing wage': The timing is ripe” (March 4 and TribLIVE.com). Personal efforts have been expended for the last eight years toward trying to get an update of the prevailing-wage legislation signed by Gov. Lawrence in 1963. This law has not been updated since that time. Efforts to get the law updated in the past have been bottlenecked in the House Labor & Industry Committee.

Ward 5 in Bethel Park, which I represent on borough council, was “blessed” with two state House members, Republican John Maher and Democrat Matt Smith, who is now in the state Senate. Maher has submitted at least two pieces of legislation to get the dollar value for projects to which the prevailing-wage law applies increased from $25,000 to approximately $180,000, which is today's inflated value equivalent to 1963's $25,000. Maher and then-Sen. John Pippy, also a Republican, supported the change, but then-Rep. Smith did not.

In the last legislative session, a bill was moved to the floor of the House with the expectation it would be favorably acted on, considering the Republican control. The bill magically disappeared.

I communicated with Maher this year on the issue but have not received a reply. Hopefully, the Trib's attention to the issue will initiate some action.

Don Harrison

Bethel Park

The writer is a Republican.

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