Several states moving to repeal prevailing wage laws

Republican-controlled legislatures make push to end decades-old rules

May 07, 2015 |
Several states moving to repeal prevailing wage laws

Anti-prevailing wage bills that apply to state-funded construction projects passed in West Virginia and Nevada, with more coming up for a vote in other states. Image: Pixabay

Efforts to repeal prevailing wage laws are gaining momentum across the country.

Anti-prevailing wage bills that apply to state-funded construction projects have been passed in West Virginia and Nevada. Similar laws could be passed in Indiana and Illinois. Lawmakers in Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin are also making waves for repeal.

The momentum is fueled by Republican-controlled legislatures across the country. Republicans control 68 of 98 partisan state legislative chambers, the most in the party’s history.

In Indiana, Brian C. Bosma, the House speaker, told the New York Times that he believed the change would save at least 10% on government construction projects without gutting the wages of workers.

Opponents say repeals would lower wages and see them as a new front in a battle by Republican legislatures to weaken labor unions. Proponents say the bills are aimed at sparing the budgets of struggling cities and states and ending an inconsistent, sometimes politicized system for calculating what wage should be the standard.

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