Senate Votes To Repeal Local Prevailing Wage

Plan Retains Wage For State Projects

Shihmei Barger (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Wisconsin’s longstanding prevailing wage law would be repealed for local government construction projects under a plan Republican Senators added to the budget Tuesday.

Republicans have fought internally for months over whether to tweak or completely repeal Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law, which sets base wages for government construction projects. Tuesday’s vote for a partial repeal gave conservatives like Saukville Republican Sen. Duey Stroebel most of what they wanted.

“I did not come here to make a bad policy less bad. I came here to stand up for taxpayers,” he said.

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Democrats, like Green Bay Sen. Dave Hansen, said the changes — coupled with the Republican-authored right-to-work law from earlier this year — would lower wages for every Wisconsin worker.

“In my way of thinking, that is no way to grow the economy,” he said.

Two Republicans who represent swing districts — Sens. Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac and Howard Marklein of Spring Green — joined all Democrats in voting against the changes.