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Walter's Articles

New Study Finds NY’s Prevailing Wage Increases Cost of Public Construction by Up to 25%

A new report released by the Empire Center for Public Policy on April 24 found that prevailing wage requirements inflate the cost of publicly funded construction projects in New York by between 13 percent and 25 percent. The varying percentages are based on the area or region of the state. Taxpayers can expect to pay billions in extra costs, given the tens of billions the state plans to spend on public projects over the next five to 10 years.  

Effort to Override Veto of Bill Tying Prevailing Wage to Union Rates in Illinois Fails

In a victory for taxpayers and merit shop contractors, the Illinois House of Representatives failed to reach the three-fifths majority required to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R-Ill.) veto of S.B. 2964. The bill would have tied prevailing wage rates for public projects to local union rates.

Illinois Governor Vetoes Bill Tying Prevailing Wage to Union Contracts

On July 22, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have significantly changed the prevailing wage calculation process by tying wage rates to union collective bargaining agreements. In vetoing the bill, Gov. Rauner said Senate Bill 2964 would effectively discount the wage rates of those who have chosen not to join a union and who make up a majority of the construction workforce. 

New Hampshire Rejects Prevailing Wage Bill

Last week, the New Hampshire House rejected a bill (House Bill 1641) that would have required prevailing wage be paid on all state construction projects. Citing a union-backed study, proponents of the bill argued the legislation would create jobs, spur economic activity, and raise workers’ wages without increasing the cost of projects. Opponents rejected those assertions and insisted the state would pay more for construction projects under the provisions of the bill.