2015 Wisconsin Act 55 (the budget bill) repealed the state prevailing wage law for school districts and other local governmental units (villages, towns, cities) effective January 1, 2017. However, if a local governmental unit:
- issues a Request for Bids before January 1, 2017, for a project of public works that is subject to bidding or,
- enters into a contract before January 1, 2017, for a project of public works that is not subject to bidding,
those public works projects are subject to the current (“old”) prevailing wage law (§66.0903, Wis. Stats.) through the life of the project. Projects of public works with prevailing wage project determinations issued prior to 2017 continue to be subject to the current prevailing wage law through the life of the project even though the project may have work going on in 2017 or subsequent years. Continue reading Prevailing Wage Law Repeal Update for School Districts
The State Senate has voted to include changes to the state’s prevailing wage law in the state budget bill. The changes would:
- Exempt all local governments, including school districts, technical college districts, and municipal utilities, and off-site trucking from Wisconsin’s prevailing wage laws.
- Use federal rates on state projects, simplifying Wisconsin’s wage rates by conforming them to federal wage rates
The prevailing wage amendment was added to the budget on a 17-16 vote as Republicans Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac and Howard Marklein of Spring Green voted with Senate Democrats against the provision.
The Legislature’s plans for the state budget took a dramatic turn with the Senate today taking up the document first and planning to take up an amendment that would repeal prevailing wage laws for local governments.
The amendment reflects a proposal from Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, that in addition to exempting local projects from the prevailing wage would use the federal prevailing wage for state projects. Continue reading Senate to Take up Budget, Prevailing Wage Today
Assembly Republicans, led by Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington), Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown), and Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford) held a Capitol press conference today (June 29) to announce the details of a prevailing wage reform package (full bill draft).
The proposal would scale back the state’s prevailing wage laws and make a host of changes that include: Continue reading Assembly GOP Leaders Release Prevailing Wage Reform Plan
Yesterday’s hearing by the state Senate’s Labor and Government Reform Committee was on Senate Bill 49, which calls for full repeal of the state, local and highway prevailing wage laws.
School officials had a significant presence at the hearing, testifying mostly in support of the proposed repeal bill. Board members present to testify in support included Glen Allgaier (Elmbrook), Dave Maxey (New Berlin), John Nyhuis (Oakfield), and Mary D’Amour (Mukwonago). Steve Edlund (Waukesha) expressed concerns with repealing prevailing wage. There were also several superintendents and business officials present. Continue reading Senate Hearing on Prevailing Wage Repeal Held
State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform has scheduled a public hearing next Tuesday (May 5) at 8:30 a.m. on Senate Bill 49, which would repeal the state’s prevailing wage law for public (including school) building projects. Senator Nass has also scheduled a vote on the bill next Thursday (May 7).
Under current law Wisconsin school boards (and other local government units) planning to undertake building projects must apply to the state Dept. of Workforce Development (DWD) for a determination of the prevailing wage rate for each trade or occupation required by the project before soliciting bids or entering into contracts for the building project. DWD determines the prevailing wage rates and informs the school board within 30 days. This law applies to single trade projects of $48,000 or more and to multiple-trade projects of $100,000 or more. Continue reading Prevailing Wage Repeal: Senate Hearing and Vote Scheduled for Next Week
Braced by the findings of a new study (see preceding story) a number of Republican lawmakers are looking for the best way to reform or repeal the state’s 80-year-old prevailing wage law.
That law, or more accurately three separate laws, determines pay rates for workers on public works projects in the state. Critics say it uses a system that sets wages artificially high, at the expense of taxpayers and to the frustration of public officials trying to stay on budget.
Continue reading Lawmakers Eye Reform of State’s Prevailing Wage Laws