from Guam PDN
The much-debated proposal to raise buildup-related construction wages to Hawaii levels is not likely to become law, Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo said yesterday.
Bordallo and other members of a congressional delegation visiting Guam yesterday took some time to discuss the measure, an amendment to the fiscal 2010 defense spending bill by Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie.
The amendment would require that construction workers on military buildup projects are paid at least as much as workers on similar projects in Hawaii -- wages that are several times higher than Guam's are now.
Bordallo said yesterday that the resulting expenses would not be feasible.
"(The Department of Defense) is concerned about this -- we have enough on our plate," she said. "This could derail the buildup. That's how costly it's going to be. ... It's not going to sail."
Bordallo said she will be a member of the conference committee that is set to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the defense bills into a single legislation. The Senate bill, passed last month, does not include the wage proposal.
West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall, a member of the delegation, said that the impact of any measure on the island must be considered before being approved.
"There's going to be costs involved, there's no way around it," Rahall said. "It's going to take a lot of working together."
Delegation members did not discuss another measure proposed by Abercrombie, which would limit the amount of work done by foreign workers.
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