Montana Administrative Register Notice 24-17-407 No. 20   10/20/2023    
Prev Next


                                                  STATE OF MONTANA 


In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.17.127 pertaining to prevailing wages






TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On November 9, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., a public hearing will be held via remote conferencing to consider the proposed changes to the above-stated rule. There will be no in-person hearing. Interested parties may access the remote conferencing platform in the following ways:

            a. Join Zoom Meeting, https://mt-gov.zoom.us/j/85799489823

                  Meeting ID: 857 9948 9823, Passcode: 915777


            b. Dial by telephone, +1 406 444 9999 or +1 646 558 8656

                  Meeting ID: 857 9948 9823, Passcode: 915777


            2. The Department of Labor and Industry (department) will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this public hearing or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m., on November 2, 2023, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact the department at P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624-1728; telephone (406) 444-5466; Montana Relay 711; or e-mail laborlegal@mt.gov.


            3. The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:



            (1) through (1)(d) remain the same. 

            (e) The current building construction services rates are contained in the 2023 2024 amended version of the "Montana Prevailing Wage Rates for Building Construction Services" publication.

            (f) The current nonconstruction services rates are contained in the 2023 2024 version of the "Montana Prevailing Wage Rates for Nonconstruction Services" publication.

            (g) The current heavy construction services rates are contained in the 2023 2024 amended version of the "Montana Prevailing Wage Rates for Heavy Construction Services" publication.

            (h) The current highway construction services rates are contained in the 2023 2024 version of the "Montana Prevailing Wage Rates for Highway Construction Services" publication.

            (2) and (3) remain the same.


            AUTH: 2-4-307, 18-2-409, 18-2-431, MCA

            IMP:     18-2-401, 18-2-402, 18-2-403, 18-2-406, 18-2-411, 18-2-412, 18-2-413, 18-2-414, 18-2-415, 18-2-422, 18-2-431, MCA


REASON: There is reasonable necessity to update the prevailing wage rates for building construction services, heavy construction services, highway construction services, and nonconstruction services following the annual survey of wages that is provided for in 18-2-413, 18-2-414, and 18-2-415, MCA, respectively. The department surveys employers and applies the methodologies provided by ARM 24.17.119 through 24.17.122 to determine those prevailing wage rates.


            4. Concerned persons may present their data, views, or arguments at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted at dli.mt.gov/rules or P.O. Box 1728; Helena, Montana 59624.  Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., November 17, 2023.


            5. An electronic copy of this notice of public hearing is available at dli.mt.gov/rules and sosmt.gov/ARM/register.


            6. The agency maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by the agency. Persons wishing to have their name added to the list may sign up at dli.mt.gov/rules or by sending a letter to P.O. Box 1728; Helena, Montana 59624 and indicating the program or programs about which they wish to receive notices. 


            7. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


            8. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule may significantly and directly impact small businesses. The proposed amendments will have an impact on some, but not all small businesses (those with fewer than 50 full-time employees). The proposed amendments directly affect the wages that must be paid for work on Montana public works contracts. The types of businesses affected are primarily those in the construction industry, but only affect those businesses that perform (or seek to perform) work on public works projects. In addition, there are businesses that provide certain types of nonconstruction services to state and local government agencies that are subject to payment of the prevailing wage rate. The types of nonconstruction service businesses that potentially are subject to the award of a public works contract are listed in 18-2-401(9), MCA.


There is no single effect on small businesses as a result of the proposed amendments. Some employers may have to pay higher wages as a result of changes to the prevailing wage rates; other employers may have a wage structure that is the same as or higher than the prevailing wage rate. Historically, some employers have stated that the prevailing wage rates are set too high, while other employers have stated that the rates are too low. In certain cases the difference between the established prevailing wage rate and the employer's customary wage rate may be significant, but it is unclear whether that difference will result in a significant change to the profitability of any given small business, as there are many other economic factors at play.


Montana law requires that prevailing wage rates be set following an annual survey of wages. There is an established statutory and administrative formula that establishes the prevailing wage rate for each work classification, based on the data and information gathered. The alternative to amending the wage rates is to not amend the rate, thus freezing the wage rate at the last-adopted level. Some employers would probably be adversely affected by the failure to adopt new prevailing wage rates. The department believes that under either alternative, some small businesses will be adversely affected by the selected alternative. The small businesses likely to be adversely affected by adoption of new rates are probably not the same as those that are likely to be adversely affected by not adopting new rates.


            9. Department staff has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.





Quinlan L. O'Connor

Rule Reviewer


Sarah Swanson, Commissioner




            Certified to the Secretary of State October 10, 2023.



Home  |   Search  |   About Us  |   Contact Us  |   Help  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy & Security