Violating the prevailing wage laws in Illinois could be a felony if a bill pushed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan makes it through the General Assembly. Last week, Madigan announced that her office will work with State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) on legislation (HB 3237) that would charge violators of the Prevailing Wage Act with class 4 felonies and prohibit those convicted from working with the state for four years.
The prevailing wage law requires state contractors to pay workers "no less than the general prevailing rate of wages (consisting of hourly cash wages plus fringe benefits) for work of a similar character in the county where the work is performed." Phelps said in a statement that "[u]nscrupulous contractors, who outbid honest companies for projects paid for with tax dollars, need to be accountable for their actions."
Such legislation is at the heart of the recent labor battle in Indiana. The Democratic leader in the Indiana House, still in Urbana after fleeing the state last week because of Republican efforts to push anti-union legislation, told that Indianapolis Star that a major point of contention is a push by Hoosier Republicans to eliminate prevailing wage requirements.