The House Labor Committee is slated to review a bill Tuesday that could increase the use of apprentices on state public works contracts. But critics say that mandating more work by apprentices could increase costs for municipal and state projects.
A union-backed bill sponsored by Providence Representative John Carnevale would require companies bidding on public projects worth more than $1 million to have an apprenticeship program. The legislation would apply only to contractors and subcontractors with five or more employees.
The conservative Ocean State Tea Party in Action says requiring added participation by apprentices will cause more expenses for municipalities and the state. Supporters of the measure say increasing the use of apprentices will result in a better-trained state workforce.
A competing bill sponsored by Coventry Representative Jared Nunes would remove the apprenticeship requirement. It would mandate only that contractors on projects worth more than 10 million dollars be informed of the possible use of apprentice programs.
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