Lawmakers want to bring back prevailing wage laws in Michigan

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lawmakers in Lansing have introduced two bills that would reinstate Michigan’s prevailing wage law.

Prevailing wage laws require that contractors who bid on taxpayer-funded projects pay their workers a wage that is at least as high as the common wage for that kind of work in the area. Michigan had such a law from 1965 until it was repealed in June of 2018.

Supporters of prevailing wage laws say they make sure workers are paid fairly. Opponents say they increase the cost of taxpayer-funded construction.

A group of lawmakers, including dozens of Democrats and one Republican, has introduced two bills in the Michigan House that would bring prevailing wage back to Michigan.

House Bill 4594 would create a new law restoring prevailing wage requirements for government construction contracts and establishing how that wage would be calculated.

Separately, House Bill 4593 would repeal the “Fair and Open Competition in Government Construction Act of 2011,” which prevented state departments and local governments from adding union membership to the requirements on a construction contract.

Both bills have been referred to the State House Committee on Workforce, Trades, and Talent.

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