91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Senate panel votes to scrap prevailing wage

The Michigan State Capitol
Aunt owwee
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Lawmakers are limited in the number of terms they can serve in Lansing by the state Constitution. Some say these limits lead to ineffective governing.

A state Senate committee has adopted bills to repeal the law that requires contractors to pay prevailing union wages on publicly funded construction projects.

A lot of the debate and testimony was about whether prevailing wage rules add to the cost of publicly funded projects.

Ed Haynor is on the board of the Newaygo County intermediate school district. He says the lowest bid does not necessarily mean the lowest cost.

“Typically, you see more change orders with low-bid contractors because they on-purposely (sic) low bid to get the job, and then afterwards they’ll add back on to improve their profit margin,” Haynor said.

Haynor says prevailing wage helps provide more-accurate bids.

Opponents of the law say it drives up the costs of building schools, clinics, and other public facilities. 

Mike Houseman is with the Wolverine Building Group.

"It is a serious red tape problem. For us inside at the office, we sometimes have to hire extra personnel just to handle that red tape,” Houseman said.

Governor Rick Snyder opposes the legislation. He says it will make skilled trades jobs less attractive.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
Related Content