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PA House Passes Responsible Contractor Law | WDIY Local News

The State Capitol building in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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The State Capitol building in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA

Democrat Josh Siegel of Lehigh County applauded the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after they approved the passage of his bill creating new standards for construction projects.

According to a press release, H.B. 1449 establishes a “statewide responsible contractor law” that will help Pennsylvania “lead the way.”

Representative Siegel elaborated on the need for the bill, explaining that construction firms are “struggling to meet demand for work” because they are “lacking a sufficient supply of trained and skilled craft labor.” The press release notes that almost 40% of construction workers will likely retire in the coming decade. This drop in workers will come as demand grows for updated infrastructure and public works projects.

In the memorandum, the idea of Pennsylvania using its purchasing power to create economic opportunities was stressed. Supporters are confident that the change will “expand workforce development” and “protect taxpayer dollars.”

Major benefits of the bill include the assurance of skilled craft labor, promise of public safety during construction projects, multiple job opportunities for those in the construction field, and protection of taxpayers from unreliable contractors. The bill also establishes clear standards for firms bidding on publicly funded projects, requiring them to have a registered apprenticeship program and pay a fair wage to their employees.

The bill was first introduced in June and was considered three times before its passage on Wednesday. Representative Siegel called the bill a “historic investment in our Commonwealth’s workforce and economy.” It will now move on to the PA Senate for final approval.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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