Analyst says: Fresh from election victories, GOP may move to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law

Nov 5, 2014

Now that Republicans have strengthened their control of the Michigan Legislature, one analyst expects a fight to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republicans picked up four seats in the state House on Tuesday, expanding their majority to 63 of the 110 seats. Republicans also added a state Senate seat.The GOP will hold a 27-to-11 margin in the Senate when the next session begins in 2015.

Bill Ballenger is with Inside Michigan Politics. He says Republicans may not have a better opportunity than they will have next year to repeal the prevailing wage law.

“(Repealing the Prevailing Wage law) has been a long-sought goal of the business community and conservative Republicans over the years,” says Ballenger.

The law requires union wages and benefits for workers on state-funded construction projects.

But Ballenger expects if Republicans move to repeal prevailing wage, they can expect unions to react the same way they did to the passage of the right-to-work law and “bring cries of bloody murder from the Democrats if that happens.”

Ballenger thinks there’s a chance a road construction spending bill will pass in the upcoming lame-duck session. But he admits it’s more likely the bill will be delayed until the new legislative session begins in 2015.