LANSING — Today, the House of Representatives voted on a proposal to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, which ensured that workers on state projects were paid a fair wage. The proposal passed by a vote of 56-53.  In response, state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) issued the following statement:

“Michigan is already facing a skilled labor shortage, which makes repealing prevailing wage all the more costly and irresponsible. I have heard multiple times in committee and in the legislature that we need more students going into Career Tech Education (CTE). CTE jobs provide a great career and living wage, but by repealing prevailing wage we will be greatly discouraging students from entering this field. Working families cannot get ahead if they’re unable to pay their bills or save for a secure retirement. Our prevailing wage law has protected Michigan from greedy contractors set on importing cheap labor from out of state for more than 50 years. Today’s misguided repeal hurts women and men employed in skilled trades, by slashing their paychecks and robbing them of their economic freedom. But it also hurts our state when taxpayers are forced to pay twice for low-quality work. You get what you pay for and this vote will produce sub-standard work. Today’s vote does nothing more than tell these  skilled workers that a majority of Michigan lawmakers think they make too much money and their skills mean nothing. Michigan, and its families, deserve better, and that’s why I voted no today.”