prevailing wage

Prevailing wage

A 53-year-old Michigan law that guarantees higher "prevailing" wages for construction workers on state-financed projects could soon be nullified.

The Republican-controlled Legislature this week is poised to repeal the statute, which would make Michigan the fifth state to annul its prevailing wage law since 2015. Though GOP Gov. Rick Snyder opposes the bill, it is veto-proof because it was initiated through a ballot drive by nonunion contractors.

Conservatives say repealing the law would save taxpayers money.

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Construction trade unions are launching a ballot drive to keep intact Michigan's law that requires better wages and benefits for workers on state-financed building projects.

The Republican-led Legislature could vote early next year to repeal the law, despite opposition from GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, who supports it as a way to promote in-demand jobs in the trades.

A group has turned in signatures for veto-proof initiated legislation.

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A business group is again initiating legislation to repeal Michigan's decades-old prevailing wage law.

The law requires workers on state-financed building projects to be paid higher wages based on local union contracts and is supported by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Board of State Canvassers said Monday it will consider the form of Protecting Michigan Taxpayers' petition at a meeting Thursday.

If the ballot committee collects roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures, the legislation would go to the GOP-led Legislature.

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Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

The Michigan Supreme Court says cities and villages have the power to determine wages on public construction projects.

The court overturned a decision from 1923, saying it was trumped 40 years later by powers given to local government in the Michigan Constitution.

The Supreme Court opinion came Tuesday in a case involving Lansing and a construction trade group.

Associated Builders and Contractors sued Lansing after the capital city approved an ordinance that tied wages on public projects to prevailing pay and benefits in the Lansing area.

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments for and against local laws that require contractors on public projects to pay union-scale wages.

The challenge to Lansing’s ordinance was filed by non-union contractors.

They say local governments aren’t allowed to adopt local wage laws.

Kraig Schutter argue for the Associated Builders & Contractors.

He says local governments can decide what to pay their employees, but not those of private companies that make agreements to do work for counties, cities, or townships.

Organizers of a drive to repeal Michigan's 50-year-old prevailing wage law have turned in an estimated 390,959 signatures.

Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams says the signatures were turned in Monday afternoon and will be reviewed by Bureau of Election staff.

Protecting Michigan Taxpayers needs at least 252,523 valid signatures to send the petition to the state Legislature.

The group wants to repeal the law that requires workers on state-financed construction projects to be paid prevailing union-scale wages.