This bill, Substitute Bill No. 6862, focuses on broadband construction and the prevailing wage. It establishes a grant program to support the deployment of broadband Internet access service, with criteria for the grants including application requirements, applicant eligibility, addressing unserved areas in distressed municipalities, broadband Internet access service speed, and an applicant's commitment to pay at least twenty percent of the costs for any project with their own funding. The bill also requires the commissioner to prioritize applicants based on their commitment to cost sharing, training programs for their workforce, directly employing their workforce, promoting training and hiring pipelines for underrepresented communities, and compliance with labor and employment laws. Reporting requirements for grant recipients are established, and the commissioner is required to report on the grants, progress toward universal access to broadband, and broadband adoption rates. The bill also requires applicants and recipients of grants to provide information about their workforce and subcontractors, and failure to meet requirements or provide false information may result in ineligibility for future grant programs. The bill also amends current law to subject projects funded by grants to prevailing wage requirements.

This bill, Substitute Bill No. 6862, amends current law regarding contracts for public works projects. It requires each contract for the construction, remodeling, or repair of any public works project to include a provision ensuring workers are paid wages equal to the prevailing rate for their trade or occupation in the town where the project is being done. Contractors are also required to make payments or contributions to employee welfare funds on behalf of their workers. The bill allows for fines and potential debarment for contractors who violate these provisions, and the state or political subdivision may terminate contracts or withhold payment if workers are paid less than the required rate. The Labor Commissioner is authorized to make complaints to prosecuting authorities for violations of these provisions. The bill also makes changes to prevailing wage rate determinations for residential projects and public works projects, adopting prevailing wage rate determinations made under the Davis-Bacon Act for residential projects and trades or occupations without a collective bargaining agreement. The Labor Commissioner is required to determine the prevailing rate of wages and employee welfare fund payments for each locality where a public work is to be constructed, and the proper rates must be included in the contract proposal. Certification of the total dollar amount of work and the pay scale to be used by contractors and subcontractors is also required. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2023 and amends sections 16-330c and 31-53(a) to (e) of current law.

Statutes affected:
Raised Bill: 16-330c
LAB Joint Favorable Substitute: 16-330c
File No. 491: 16-330c
APP Joint Favorable: 16-330c