UPDATE: West Virginia House votes to repeal prevailing wage

By WV MetroNews
Posted: Wed 3:17 PM, Jan 27, 2016

CHARELSTON, W.Va. (WV MetroNews) The House of Delegates Wednesday passed legislation repealing the state’s prevailing wage law that sets hourly pay rates for workers on state-funded projects. The bill (HB 4005) now goes to the Senate.

The 55-44 vote followed an emotional debate on the House floor between supporters and opponents of the legislation as labor union members and business backers looked on from the gallery.

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Compromise afoot in Senate on prevailing wage bill

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

By Joel Ebert, Capitol Bureau



Senate Republicans finalized a compromise on a bill that seeks to reform the state’s prevailing wage law late Wednesday afternoon.

The compromise would alter Senate Bill 361, which originally sought an outright repeal of prevailing wage rates for public construction projects.

Under the latest version of the bill, the outright repeal would be removed but two key components would be included.

One aspect would allow state-funded projects under $500,000 to not be subjected to prevailing wage rates.

The second aspect would change the manner in which the prevailing wage rates are determined. Currently the West Virginia Division of Labor determines the hourly prevailing wage rates by sending out a survey to both union and non-union companies throughout the state.

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New Study Released on the Impact of Prevailing Wage Repeal in West Virginia

January 28, 2015

The Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation, a division of the West Virginia State Building Trades, has just released a study by Michael Kelsay, Ph.D., University of Missouri- Kansas City, Dept. of Economics, on the adverse economic impact from prevailing wage repeal in the state. Please follow the link below for a full copy of the report.

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ILEPI Releases New Economic Commentary on Impact of Prevailing Wage Law Repeal

January 28, 2015

Recent commentary has just been published by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute.  See below for key findings and a copy of the full report.

Key Findings:

·        Repealing a prevailing wage law will not grow a state’s construction industry

·        Repeal of a state prevailing wage law will further detach worker productivity from worker wages, contributing to the growing problem of income inequality in America.

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West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers

January 28, 2015 by Sean O’Leary

Construction workers hired for public projects in West Virginia must be paid a minimum “prevailing” wage and benefits level. This prevailing wage level must equal the market wage rates as determined by the West Virginia Division of Labor, and varies by geographical area within the state and by occupation.1 West Virginia’s prevailing wage law was first enacted in 1933, two years after the federal Davis-Bacon Act, which established a prevailing wage for federal construction projects. Read PDF of report.

Thirty-two states, including West Virginia, have prevailing wage laws for state-funded construction projects, while there is also a federal prevailing wage law for federally funded construction projects.2 These prevailing wage laws help ensure that government-funded construction projects are done with highly skilled workers from the community, increasing productivity and strengthening the economy with good-paying local jobs.

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