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Following the release of the U.S Department of Labor’s proposed rule, Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations, on March 18, ABC formally submitted a request for the 60-day comment period to be extended by an additional 60 days.

The 1931 Davis-Bacon Act and related regulations require contractors and subcontractors that perform work on federal and federally funded construction projects to pay a government-determined prevailing wage and benefit rate on an hourly basis to on-site construction workers. The DOL estimates the Davis-Bacon Act and 71 active related acts collectively apply to approximately $217 billion in federal and federally assisted construction spending per year and provide government-determined wage rates for an estimated 1.2 million U.S. construction workers. ABC continues to review the 432-page rule, which appears to have missed an opportunity for meaningful Davis-Bacon reform and instead will likely worsen existing flaws in prevailing wage regulations.

“For ABC to best accommodate the Wage and Hour Division’s request for comments from the regulated community, time will be needed to review the dense and substantial proposed rule, reach out to ABC members and receive feedback, analyze responses and data received from these members and finally, draft comprehensive and well-considered regulatory comments. Unfortunately, the current 60-day comment period does not provide sufficient time for ABC to effectively communicate with its members before providing these comments,” ABC said in its extension request.

House Committee on Education and Labor Republican Ranking Member Virginia Foxx, N.C., and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Republican Ranking Member Richard Burr, N.C., have also weighed in, sending a letter to DOL Secretary Marty Walsh requesting an extension of the comment period.

“Unfortunately, WHD has missed an opportunity to fix the issues identified by multiple Office of Inspector General and Government Accountability Office reports. We request a 60-day extension to the comment period to provide the regulated community appropriate time to provide robust comments to WHD,” Rep. Foxx and Sen. Burr wrote.

While this request is pending, ABC encourages its members, industry stakeholders and taxpayers to suggest additional improvements to the Davis-Bacon Act regulations within the 60-day comment period deadline. Comments are due on May 17.

ABC will continue to inform members about new developments related to the Davis-Bacon Act in Newsline.