A Senate committee has passed a Republican-sponsored bill that would provide money to build new schools but suspend wage rules favored by unions.
The Senate Government Affairs Committee approved SB119 on Friday, two days after crowds of opponents helped filled two large hearing rooms.
Both parties support the bill's proposal to give school boards authority to continue issuing bonds for 10 years beyond the time period approved by voters. Districts wouldn't be allowed to raise the tax rate.
But it would also suspend prevailing wage rules for contractors building schools. Prevailing wages are pay rates set by the state labor commission for public works projects, and they vary depending on the work type and county.
Bill sponsors say prevailing wage forces districts to pay more than market value for construction.
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