, , , ,

Republican Lawmaker Calls For Scrapping Prevailing Wage

Wage Supporters Say Work Quality Would Suffer


In 2011, changes to Wisconsin’s prevailing wage rules narrowed the types of public projects that would require workers to be paid a certain amount. Now a state lawmaker wants to scrap the prevailing wage law entirely.

Republican Rep. Rob Hutton of Brookfield said his legislation would give local governments a way to reduce building costs.

But Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said he opposes eliminating the law, which sets contractor wages for public projects based on surveys in every county.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“So when you are building bridges when you are repairing our roads it’s not the time to cut corners,” Parisi said. “We need to have a focus on safety.”

Steve Lyons is spokesman for the Wisconsin Contractor Coalition The group is made up of 300 private sector businesses all across the state. It formed in response to legislation making it harder for unions to organize and also opposes this legislation.

Lyons noted that the governor has publicly lamented a lack of skilled workers in the state, something, he said, a prevailing wage would help. Scrapping it, Lyons argued, would not grow Wisconsin’s economy.

“Make sure these quality projects are done on time and on budget by career craftsmen,” said Lyons.

Rep. Hutton contended that wages are significantly inflated under the law. He introduced similar legislation last session.