The Senate passed a compromise version of the prevailing wage bill by a 32-13 vote Tuesday night and the measure was on its way back to the House of Delegates yesterday.

Senate President Melvin Steinberg, (D-Baltimore County), praised both supporters of the House-passed measure and opponents, who filibustered off and on for three days in an effort to block the bill until they resolved their differences.

The filibuster was led initially by a conservative coalition of rural senators intent on stopping a bill they feared would have cost their jurisdictions more money.

The original prevailing wage bill, supported by Gov. Hughes, would have reduced from 100 percent to 50 percent the amount of state money that would be involved in a public works project before the prevailing wage would have to be paid to workers on such projects.

The prevailing wage is the wage most frequently paid for certain types of work in a given area, but in heavily unionized areas it often is the same as union scale.

The compromise measure requires the prevailing wage to be paid on school construction projects with 75 percent state money. The prevailing wage also would be paid on most other construction jobs if they are 50 percent state-funded.