(Feb. 1) – A bill expanding wage protections for workers on state highway projects passed the House Transportation & Energy Committee this afternoon. HB17-1068, sponsored by Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Adams County, specifies that the Colorado Department of Transportation may consider bids, including those for public-private partnerships like the recent US36 project, only if the bid calculates labor costs using locally prevailing wages and benefits. The idea is to prevent lowball bids from companies that don’t pay their employees fair wages. “This bill is intended to protect workers in Colorado so they can earn a good wage and raise their families,” Rep. Benavidez said. “It also clarifies the state’s requirement to pay prevailing wages on public projects when they partner with private business.” The committee voted 8-4 to send the bill to the House floor.