Prevailing wage repeal a con job | Frank Manzo IV

Frank Manzo IV, Guest Contributor
7:46 a.m. EST December 19, 2016

The dictionary defines a “con job” as an act of “swindling or duping” to get one’s way.

Kentucky voted overwhelmingly to elect Donald Trump President, along with historic GOP majorities in both houses of the Legislature. To win, Trump and Kentucky Republicans campaigned on a lot of promises–including to “create jobs,” and “lift the wages” of working people.

Early next month, the Kentucky Legislature is expected to do just the opposite, by repealing the state’s prevailing wage law.

Prevailing Wage is the minimum wage for skilled construction work on state-funded projects. There are over 82,000 Kentuckians working in occupations affected by its state prevailing wage-carpentry, plumbing, electrical, pavers, roofers, painters and more. A repeal of prevailing wage would be a state-mandated pay cut for these workers.

Recent research by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute and renown Economist Dr. Kevin Duncan shows that prevailing wage repeal will cost 1800 of these workers their jobs, drive almost 6,000 into poverty and onto public assistance, cost another 6,000 their employer-sponsored health insurance, and will eliminate pension plans for another 10,000 workers. And because lower wages translates to lower spending by workers in their communities, prevailing wage repeal will cost Kentucky another 1100 jobs across other economic sectors.

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