(Feb. 6) – The House gave preliminary approval this morning to a bill expanding wage protections for workers on state highway projects. HB17-1068, sponsored by Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Adams County, extends existing Colorado Department of Transportation contract standards to public-private partnership projects, specifying that when CDOT considers bids for P3 projects involving federal dollars, like the recent US36 project, those bids must calculate construction costs using locally prevailing wages and benefits. The bill aligns state procurement practices with the federal Davis-Bacon Act to prevent lowball bids on P3 projects from companies that don’t pay their employees fair wages. “Construction is still one of those occupations where people can earn a good middle-class living and raise their families, and we have to encourage that,” Rep. Benavidez told the House before its voice vote this morning. After a recorded vote, the bill will go to the Senate.