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February 24, 2011

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN ANNOUNCES BILL TO STRENGTHEN ILLINOIS PREVAILING WAGE ACT

Violations of the Act Would Become Felonies Under Proposed Legislation

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced new legislation to beef up the state’s Prevailing Wage Act to include, among other things, making violations of the Act a felony. Also, those criminally convicted would be prohibited from working on public projects for a period of four years.

“We need to give local law enforcement the tools they need to ensure that employees working on taxpayer-funded projects are paid commensurate with wages in their area under terms of the Act,” said Madigan, who will work with Rep. Brandon Phelps during the spring session of the General Assembly on the legislation (House Bill 3237).

“Hard-working men and women deserve a fair wage – one with which they can feed their families,” Rep. Phelps said. “Unscrupulous contractors, who outbid honest companies for projects paid for with tax dollars, need to be accountable for their actions. This legislation would do that.”

In addition to violations of the Prevailing Wage Act (815 ILCS 130/1 et seq.) becoming Class 4 felonies from their current status as Class A misdemeanors, Attorney General Madigan said the proposed legislation will boost enforcement, bring about more widespread compliance and less fraud on public bodies. Additionally, the bill:

  • Permits state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to obtain relevant documents from contractors and subcontractors. Currently, only IDOL and the relevant public body have the right to obtain these documents.

  • Reduces the amount of notice contractors and subcontractors have prior to the inspection of documents by government entities from seven to three days.

  • Ensures that officers and agents of corporations that perform prevailing wage work are held accountable for the actions of their corporations.

  • Provides clarification about when certified payrolls must be filed and how long certified payroll records must be retained.

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