Prevailing Wage Repeal Voted Down In Committee

Nass Still Hopes To Bring Bill Before Full Legislature


The Whitewater Republican pushing to get rid of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law says a full repeal “may be in doubt” after a Senate committee voted down the bill.

Prevailing wage is what construction workers have to be paid on public projects, as decided by the Department of Workforce Development, based on the market in a given area.

Sen. Stephen Nass is still hoping his bill will get to the full Legislature. He said he’s willing to change his proposal so that prevailing wage only applies to more expensive state building projects, not local projects by schools or municipalities.

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“That is a doggone good compromise. And that’s a long way from the position I initially took out — the full repeal. I think it clearly is a fair compromise it will save local governments money,” he said.

Democrats like Chris Larson of Milwaukee are against a bill repealing the law.

“When you look at the long-term effects of what happens here and it depletes the middle class, it depletes an industry,” said Larson.

Nass, however, called the law he’s seeking to repeal “artificial wage inflation.”

“This isn’t any particular war on anybody. It’s a commonsense piece of legislation that will clearly help the taxpayers,” he said.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said that he lacks the votes in his caucus to ever pass a prevailing wage appeal.