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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 1999

Governor Signs Bill Redefining Illinois' Prevailing Wage Rates

MT. STERLING -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed legislation to help stabilize wages and level the playing field for laborers throughout Illinois.

Senate Bill 2255 expands the state's statutory definition of "prevailing rate of wages" to mirror the long-standing federal definition. Under the legislation, the definition of "fringe benefits" for purposes of defining "prevailing rate of wages" will include funds for apprenticeships and training programs.

"From now on, the prevailing wage rates paid to union and non-union workers throughout Illinois will be more uniform," Ryan said. "This is the least we can do for the men and women who built this country and keep it moving in the right direction."

Since the 1980's, the federal government has calculated prevailing wage rates by including funds for apprenticeships and training as "fringe benefits." House Bill 2255, amends the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act to add employer contributions for apprenticeship and training programs into the base calculation of the prevailing wage. Illinois will now use guidelines identical to the federal government to determine prevailing wage rates. Union employers already pay into apprenticeship and training funds, while non-union employers frequently do not contribute to these funds. This change in definition is designed to stabilize wages paid by union and non-union employers.

House Bill 2255 was sponsored by Representative Mary O'Brien, D-Coal City and Senator Dave Syverson, R-Rockford.

"I'd like to thank Senator Syverson, Representative O'Brien, Illinois Department of Labor Director, Bob Healey, and all those who worked to negotiate a bill that is good for Illinois workers," Ryan added.

The legislation takes effect January 1, 2000.


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