The Truth About the Prevailing Wage Law

JUNE 10, 2017
Capitol Report
By State Representative, Leon D. Young

Succinctly stated: Repealing the prevailing wage doesn’t save the state money. , it costs the state JOBS! With that being said, let’s examine the truth about the prevailing wage law that Republicans refuse to admit and don’t want you to know. Repealing prevailing wage has in effect:

* Shipped millions of dollars across the border to companies in states like Florida and Kentucky.

* Caused great economic harm to countless, hard-working Wisconsin workers and their families. Moreover, a closer look inside the numbers reveals the following:

* More than one in four workers in Wisconsin made less than $11.56 per hour, which is considered a poverty-wage job, according to COWS (The Center on Wisconsin Strategy) with UW – Madison.

* Low-wage jobs don’t offer good benefits. Workers in low-wage jobs are less likely to receive health insurance through their employer, according to COWS.

* Repealing prevailing wage hurts veterans who work in the construction industry. According to a 2016 study from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, approximately 2,000 veterans are likely to separate from their jobs by 2018 because of the repeal of prevailing wage laws.
o This will result in a total decline of veteran construction workers’ wages of $113 million, according to the same study.
o Additionally, more than 200 veterans will earn less than the official poverty line.
o This would, according to the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, result in more veterans relying on government assistance programs that would cost taxpayers more money.

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