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Trio of Michigan House Democrats seek to restore Prevailing Wage law

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Three Michigan House democrats are co-authoring legislation restoring the state’s prevailing wage law that was repealed in 2018.

Scroll through The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity website and you’ll discover a page devoted to Prevailing Wage and defines it. “Michigan's Prevailing Wage law covers construction workers employed on state financed or sponsored construction projects. Under this act the Wage and Hour Division establishes wage and fringe benefit rates to be paid construction workers on state projects.”

The act dates back to 1965. It was repealed in 2018 by lawmakers arguing the price tag on state projects were becoming too expensive. Now, nearly three later, Democratic State Representatives Donna Lasinski of Scio Township, Brenda Carter of Pontiac and Muskegon’s Terry Sabo have introduced legislation restoring Prevailing Wage.

“You know Michigan thought that it could save money by gutting it’s prevailing wage law, and really that turned out to be a short-sighted mistake. A mistake that reminds us of the old saying, ‘you get what you pay for.’”

Rep. Sabo is chair of the Michigan House Labor Caucus.

“By reinstating prevailing wage, we can not only support hardworking Michiganders and stimulate our economy, but we can insure that we have the most skilled workers so our public projects are done right the first time and built to last. We’re a state built by skilled labor and a legacy of valuing our workforce.”

Sabo explains the state is experiencing a skilled trades shortage in talent. Reinstating the law will improve recruiting young people, women and minorities into the skilled trade professions.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.