Board to consider prevailing wage law repeal

Posted: 9:04 AM, Jun 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-01 13:04:55Z

The Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet Friday morning and is expected to certify the repeal of Michigan's prevailing wage law.

The vote comes after the state Supreme Court on Wednesday denied an appeal filed by a union-backed group opposing the measure.

The 1965 prevailing wage law requires paying the local wage and benefit rate — usually union scale — on state-financed projects such as public schools. Republicans say the law is outdated, inflates costs and makes it harder for nonunion contractors to compete by making lower bids. The law’s defenders, including union contractors and Democrats, say it helps workers and prevents governments from awarding contracts solely based on which bidders pay their workers less.

Once the ballot initiative is certified by the board, the Republican-controlled Legislature will have 40 days to enact it or legislators could let it proceed to the November ballot.

GOP legislative leaders have indicated they want to pass the legislation, which was organized by nonunion contractors as a citizens’ initiative because Republican Gov. Rick Snyder previously threatened to veto repeal bills in the House and Senate.

The initiated measure could become law without his signature.