Madison, WI – Today, the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform voted to advance a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage laws. Senate Bill 216 would eliminate the requirement that laborers, workers, mechanics, and truck drivers employed on the site of a project of public works be paid the prevailing wage.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“Wisconsin’s prevailing wage represents a barrier to entry for veterans who seek solid job opportunities as they transition out of service into civilian life. Prevailing wage laws not only kill the jobs veterans need, they unnecessarily drive up the cost of state projects and foot hard-working taxpayers with the bloated bills. We commend the Senate Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee for advancing Senate Bill 216 on behalf of the many veterans and Wisconsinites who would benefit from a repeal of the prevailing wage.”
CVA also recently released a memo which refutes the myth, propagated by union-backed groups, that veterans support prevailing wage laws. There is no evidence that veterans as a demographic benefit from prevailing wage laws – in fact, these laws have been found to constrain job growth and increase the costs of construction projects.
Prevailing wage laws, which were adopted in Wisconsin nearly 85 years ago, mandate that contractors are paid based on rates decided by unions. Instead of having the market determine how much these services are valued by the state, union bosses get to decide – and then taxpayers get stuck with the bill. Prevailing wage laws result in higher taxpayer costs and can limit the ability of many small businesses to compete for government work.