The National Federation of Independent Business is backing a citizen’s initiative proposal that would repeal Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law. The organization Protecting Michigan Taxpayers filed the petition with the backing of the Michigan Freedom Fund and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan (ABC).
“Michigan taxpayers can no longer afford the outdated and wasteful Prevailing Wage Law, said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “The law forces taxpayers to be overcharged anywhere between 10 and 15 percent more than what a competitively bid job would cost without the Prevailing Wage Law mandated union wage requirement.”
Michigan’s prevailing wage law, passed in 1965, requires that contractors on state funded projects pay the wages and fringe benefits according to the union scale regardless of whether the builder in question has union or non-union employees on the job. Michigan is one of only six states in the nation that require union wages be paid on state funded construction projects. Estimates are that the law results in $224 million in extra costs per year on school construction alone.
Owens said that NFIB will be supporting the petition drive that will bring the initiated law before the legislature for action. Under Michigan’s Constitution, supporters have 180 days to collect about 252,523 signatures in order to put the proposal to repeal the Prevailing Wage Law before the legislature. If both chambers of the legislature pass the proposal within 40 days it becomes law without the signature of the governor being required. If the proposal fails to pass, or the legislature does not act within the 40 days, the proposal for repeal would go on the next general election ballot for the people to decide.
NFIB recently testified before the Senate Competitiveness Committee in support of Senate Bills 1, 2 and 3 that would also end Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law. “We are missing the opportunity to increase the buying power of the state, school districts and local governments without any new taxes or increased state spending,” said Owens. “We will be working with the other groups supporting this petition drive to end Michigan’s antiquated and unnecessary Prevailing Wage Law.”
For more about Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law go HERE.