By Sahid Fawaz
A repeal that is so bad that the state's Republican governor is complaining about it.
"A group turned in more than 380,000 signatures Friday for veto-proof legislation to repeal Michigan’s 52-year-old law that requires higher 'prevailing' wages to be paid on state-financed construction work.
If state election officials certify that roughly 252,000 are valid, the bill will go to the Republican-controlled Legislature, whose leaders support it despite GOP Gov. Rick Snyder’s backing of the existing law. Legislators would have a 40-day window to vote or else the measure would receive a public vote in November 2018.
Snyder, who has opposed identical bills introduced in the Legislature, could not veto the initiated legislation.
'We are confident state lawmakers will do what is best for Michigan taxpayers and eliminate this costly carve-out,' said Jeff Wiggins, who heads the anti-prevailing wage ballot committee Protecting Michigan Taxpayers and its primary donor, the nonunion construction trade group Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan. 'There is no sound reason to overcharge taxpayers on building and construction projects.'
The 1965 law requires paying the local wage and benefit rate — usually union scale — on state-financed construction projects such as building schools. Conservatives say the law is outdated, inflates costs and makes it harder for nonunion contractors to compete by making lower bids.
But defenders, including Democrats and some Republicans, say it prevents governments from awarding contracts solely based on which bidders pay their workers less. Snyder has complained that repealing the law would hamper efforts to bolster unfilled blue-collar jobs, while unions say cost cutting on public jobs will squeeze their apprenticeship training programs that are much superior to those offered by nonunion construction groups."
For the rest of the story, check out the entire piece at the South Bend Tribune here.