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. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) issued the following statement:
“Opponents of prevailing wage say that this repeal is about protecting taxpayer dollars, but that argument doesn’t hold true when you look at the numbers. My hometown community of Marquette has used a local prevailing wage policy for more than 20 years, and we have studied the outcomes over a five-year period from 2006-2010. In comparing the actual numbers between what the city budgeted for construction projects versus the actual cost, we found no truth in the argument that repealing this law would save taxpayers money. If anything, the data proves that the work gets done on time and under budget when employing highly skilled workers.
I’m in agreement with our governor and my Democratic colleagues in opposing this repeal, because it would hurt our efforts to attract workers to the skilled trades, where they are badly needed. We need to trust the people responsible for building our public infrastructure, the largest asset taxpayers own. If Michigan is going to be a ‘come-back state,’ we need to invest in the highly-skilled workers who will build sound infrastructure, contribute to our communities and make our economy strong.”