Backers of bid to repeal prevailing wage law get initial approval

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Organizers of a drive to repeal Michigan’s 50-year-old prevailing wage law have cleared a procedural step before they begin collecting signatures.

The Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday approved the form of a petition submitted by Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, which has backing from a construction trade organization.

The group announced last week the submission of a citizens’ initiative to repeal Michigan’s law requiring workers on state-financed construction projects to be paid prevailing union-scale wages. If roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures are collected, the bill would go to the Legislature.

But not everyone agrees. An EPIC-MRA poll conducted May 19-20, revealed fewer than one third of Michigan voters support ending prevailing wage laws.

“This survey shows Michigan agrees with Gov. Rick Snyder and the vast majority of construction organizations who are opposed to ending prevailing wage in Michigan. The law helps ensure we have qualified workers available to fill skilled trades positions, and supports the continuing education of skilled trades necessary to keep Michigan men and women working efficiently and safely,” said Bart Carrigan, president of Associated General Contractors.

If lawmakers passed the legislation, Gov. Rick Snyder could not veto it despite his opposition to similar bills in the Legislature. If lawmakers did not act or rejected the measure, it would be put to a statewide vote in November 2016.

 

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