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Last week, the New Hampshire House rejected a bill (House Bill 1641) that would have required prevailing wage be paid on all state construction projects. Citing a union-backed study, proponents of the bill argued the legislation would create jobs, spur economic activity, and raise workers’ wages without increasing the cost of projects. Opponents rejected those assertions and insisted the state would pay more for construction projects under the provisions of the bill. 

Rep. Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) claimed the bill would increase construction costs and a fiscal note estimated it would cost the state at least $2.6 million per year to administer the law. In opposing the bill Rep. Flanagan argued that the bill would not “solve the problems it wants to solve” and that New Hampshire “can’t afford to spend more money on these construction projects when we are barely fixing the roads and bridges we have now.” The bill was rejected by a vote of 181-138. New Hampshire repealed its prevailing wage law in 1985.