The Nevada Senate approved a bill that would suspend prevailing wage rules on school projects.
The prevailing wage measure is attached to a bill providing more money for school construction that has widespread support. But the 11-9 vote went according to party lines with Democrats opposed.
Prevailing wage rates are set by the state labor commissioner, and vary by the type of work and by county. Republican leadership argued that prevailing wage rules raise the price of building schools and reduce the amount of work that can be done. Under the current prevailing wage law, a journeyman carpenter on a public works project in the county encompassing Las Vegas must be paid $53.76 an hour, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Union leaders say suspending the rules would devastate wages for middle-class workers and benefit out-of-state contractors. Democratic leaders asserted that repealing the prevailing wage provision would lead to lesser quality workmanship on school projects.
The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled Assembly.