Oregon University System prevailing wage bill passes Senate, 27-2

The Oregon Senate passed a bill May 14 that calls for prevailing wage pay on all construction work done on property that the Oregon University System (OUS) owns, will own, will use or occupy — regardless of where the funding comes from to build it.

The vote on HB 2646 was 27-2, with no debate on the floor. The bill passed in the House in March, 47-10.

The legislation was a top priority for building trades unions this session. It comes in response to the construction of several buildings in recent years on public university land, but done with private funds to avoid the requirement to pay the prevailing wage.

HB 2646 passed with an emergency clause, which means it will become law as soon as it is signed by the governor.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has assured building trades union officials that he will sign the bill.

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