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Politics and Policy
ABC supports the Highway Trust Fund Reform Act of 2019 (H.R. 3904), legislation introduced on July 24 by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) that would exempt federally funded or federally assisted Highway Trust Fund projects from federal Davis-Bacon requirements, known as prevailing wage. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing Davis-Bacon would save the Federal Highway Administration more than $700 million a year.
The Michigan Legislature voted to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law, a 50-year-old law that overcharges taxpayers on public construction projects and limits competitive bidding opportunities for Michigan workers. The historic vote makes Michigan the 24th state without a prevailing wage law.
On Feb. 12, the West Virginia legislature voted 18-16 to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes of a prevailing wage repeal bill and the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, making West Virginia the 26th Right to Work state in the country and the fourth state to pass Right to Work since 2012.
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.
The New York Independent Budget Office (IBO) has released a revised report on the impact prevailing wage requirements would have on affordable housing projects built with the 421a property tax break. The 421a tax credit had been the subject of extensive negotiations in the past months. In Jan. 2016, the parties involved announced they could not reach a compromise, killing the tax credit and jeopardizing Mayor de Blasio’s plans for 80,000 affordable housing units for New York City residents. The agency had initially estimated that prevailing wage requirements would add $2.8 billion to the initiative’s total, bu
On Feb. 4, the West Virginia Legislature sent two important bills to the governor’s desk. The House of Delegates passed ABC-supported right-to work legislation, the “Workplace Freedom Act” (SB 1) by a vote of 54-46, while the state Senate approved legislation repealing the state’s prevailing wage law along party lines. The measures were intensely debated in both chambers in the weeks leading up to the votes. West Virginia’s prevailing wage law was mired in controversy following the passage of a reform bill in 2015 and ABC’s West Virginia Chapter has been a vocal supporter of repealing the state’s prevailing wage.
West Virginia State Senator Sue Cline (R-Wyoming) was sworn into office on Jan. 25 following a Jan. 22 court decision requiring Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D- W.Va.) to appoint a Republican to fill a vacant seat. Sen. Cline was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming), who was elected as a Democrat but switched parties prior to resigning.
During a controversial budget session, Wisconsin significantly reformed its prevailing wage laws with the help of the ABC Wisconsin Chapter which organized a coalition of local chambers of commerce, school districts, small businesses, and municipal utilities to repeal prevailing wage requirements on all Wisconsin public works projects except those built by the state of Wisconsin and state highway projects.
Associated Builders and Contractors of West Virginia (ABCWV) voiced its concerns over the newly presented methodology for the calculation of prevailing wage rates in West Virginia after Workforce West Virginia released a summary of its report on June 1. The report, a product of prevailing wage reform legislation (S.B. 361) signed March 12 by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D), illustrates how new methodology will determine forthcoming prevailing wage rates on state-funded public improvements. However, because Workforce West Virginia failed to publish its new prevailing wage calculations by the July 1 deadline because lawmakers complained t
Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) signed the ABC-led repeal of common construction wage into law May 6, eliminating prevailing wage requirements for publicly-funded construction projects in Indiana effective July 1. The ABC Indiana/Kentucky chapter played a significant role in ensuring the state understood the negative effects the legislation has on taxpayers, helping to make Indiana the 19th state with no prevailing wage requirements on taxpayer-funded construction.
In a study evaluating Wisconsin’s approach to calculating prevailing wages and its financial impact on taxpayers, the nonpartisan, nonprofit, and independent Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) found at least two methodological “flaws” that tend to raise prevailing wages above market rates.
ABC is conducting a survey of ABC contractors who perform federal, state or municipal prevailing wage work in order to help our members benchmark themselves against other merit shop firms that perform similar work. All participants in the survey will receive the full results with analysis after they are compiled and all data will be anonymized before being released.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) March 6 signed S.B. 119, which will exempt K-12 and higher education school construction from state prevailing wage requirements beginning immediately.
The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear ABC’s appeal in a case that could lead to the invalidation of local prevailing wage ordinances throughout the state. The lawsuit seeks to overturn a May 2014 Michigan Court of Appeals ruling, which overturned a previous Ingham County Circuit Court decision that ruled in ABC’s favor.
In a court ruling Aug. 28, a San Diego, Calif., superior court judge upheld legislation (S.B. 7) that allows the state to limit construction funding to charter cities that do not subject their locally funded projects to prevailing wage requirements, negatively impacting merit shop contractors that complete public projects within those cities and the taxpayers paying the bill for the projects.
ABC of Michigan May 28 released its intention to carefully review and appeal the decision made by the Michigan Court of Appeals to reinstate Lansing’s prevailing wage ordinance. ABC of Michigan originally challenged the mandate in 2012.
A Southwest Missouri school district was the first local government entity in the state to take advantage of the changes made to Missouri’s prevailing wage law in an effort to lower construction costs on potential new construction projects.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced a series of Prevailing Wage Seminars for 2014 that will allow attendees to learn more about the Davis-Bacon Act, the process of obtaining wage determinations and adding classification, how to comply, the process of appealing wage rates and more.
According to a recent study by the Lansing, Mich.-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG), Michigan’s prevailing wage law costs taxpayers and the state’s public schools millions each year in higher construction costs—adding up to more than 315 elementary school buildings that could have been built in the past decade with the money lost to prevailing wages.
ABC of California expressed their concern and opposition for two bills signed into law Oct. 13 by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) that will expand prevailing wage requirements and drive up the costs of local public and private projects.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) Aug. 27 signed into law S.B. 776, which is designed to curtail the ability of contractors to count contributions to merit shop labor-management cooperation committees (LMCCs) against their fringe benefit obligations only if those committees monitor and enforce the prevailing wage. Other activities will still be allowed. The legislation preserves that ability for contractors contributing to similar committees run by unions.
Missouri House Bill 34, which became law on July 15, changes the way prevailing wage rates are determined in the state by taking into consideration both union and nonunion wages and allowing the rates to be calculated by county.
In a victory for merit shop construction and free enterprise, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) April 30 signed into law a bill (S.B. 1209) that repeals prevailing wage requirements on all vertical construction projects in the state.
The ABC Greater Michigan Chapter celebrated a victory Nov. 16 when the Ingham County Circuit Court found the city of Lansing’s prevailing wage ordinance was unlawful only the state is the only entity that has the authority to regulate wages and benefits.