Contracting that Works/How State and Local Governments Can Uphold High Standards for Workers, Business, and Taxpayers

Source: Karla Walter, David Madland, Paul Sonn, Tsedeye Gebreselassie, Center for American Progress, November 13, 2015

… Scores of state and local governments have taken an important step to raise standards for workers by requiring that public contractors pay their workforces a nonpoverty wage—either through living wage laws or prevailing wage laws. These laws have a significant impact on the lives of workers who are employed by contractors, they uphold government’s promise to function as a model employer, and they help raise wage standards throughout the local economy. But state and local leaders can do more to raise standards for government-supported work. Growing numbers of state and local governments are adopting additional “responsible contracting” reforms to improve the quality of jobs generated by their procurement spending—a suite of policies to help raise the wages and improve the benefits of workers who are employed by contractors; to ensure that only law-abiding companies that respect their workers receive government contracts; and to contract out only those services that public employees cannot capably and cost-effectively perform. …

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