06/26/2022

Builders say union-backed wage bill could raise housing costs

The latest fight between the homebuilding industry and unions is brewing in Sacramento over a bill that could require higher wages to workers on many residential projects.

Although authors of the legislation say it applies only to projects that use public money, the Building Industry Association is sounding the alarm on increased construction costs for private houses, condos and apartments.

Assembly Bill 199 was introduced in late January and authored by Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) and the California Building and Construction Trades Council, a labor union group. The bill requires workers to be paid “prevailing wage” on residential projects that have any agreement with “the state or a political subdivision” — a provision that extends the requirement beyond the redevelopment agencies, public agencies and low income housing projects covered under existing state law.

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