Briggs King appointed to prevailing wage, public education funding committees

DOVER – 37th District State Representative Ruth Briggs King has been appointed to serve on two committees that will address issues in need of significant reform for years now – Delaware’s prevailing wage system and the state’s public education funding system.

RUTH Briggs King, new mug

Rep. Ruth Briggs King

Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, has appointed Rep. Briggs King, R-Georgetown, to serve as a member of the following committees:

  • Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee, created under House Substitute 1 for House Bill 145; and
  • Education Funding Improvement Commission, established as a result of Senate Joint Resolution 4.

The seven-member Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee is tasked with advising the General Assembly by next January on how the prevailing wage survey can be improved or whether it should be eliminated.

The voluntary survey is conducted by the State Department of Labor in order to set Delaware’s “prevailing wage,” which is the mandated hourly rate for skilled and unskilled workers hired for state-funded projects.  The survey varies by county, occupation and type of project and the rates have been found to be inconsistent across the state.

The legislation that created the Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee also included a provision that Rep. Briggs King has been a champion for over the past several years.  The new law raises the prevailing wage rate threshold for public works projects from $100,000 to $500,000 for new construction and from $15,000 to $45,000 for alterations, repairs and renovations.

The Education Funding Improvement Commission will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive review of Delaware’s public education funding system and for making recommendations to modernize and strengthen the system.

Some of the options the committee will be examining include: transitioning to a student-focused funding system and weighting funding based on demographic characteristics of students; introducing more flexibility for the state, districts and schools to raise and spend resources more effectively for their students; and improving the way revenues are collected and allocated for education throughout the state.

“I am looking forward to serving on these two important committees,” said Rep. Briggs King. “Both issues are ones that I have been passionate about since first taking office almost six years ago.  I believe much can be done to improve both the prevailing wage and the public education funding systems in Delaware, and I am ready to get to work on recommending effective solutions as soon as possible.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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