The Assembly Labor Committee voted on Wednesday to repeal Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law. Governor Scott Walker, who had previously said prevailing wage was not a priority, now says he’s OK with fully repealing the law or just making a few tweaks. “We’re willing to work with lawmakers whether it’s an outright repeal or some degree of meaningful reform. One way or the another,” Walker said, “I would expect the final version of the budget would have something in. The question is how far it would go.”
Walker reiterated he’d sign a measure whether it was included in the two-year state budget or as separate legislation, though he said full repeal “would be the preferable route.” On Thursday he said, “I think it makes sense for the arguments that have been made. I think the bottom line, though, is we’re trying to work with the legislature on this and a series of other things.”
AUDIO: (:24) Walker said he would “indeed sign a full repeal.”
Republicans say a full repeal would save millions of taxpayer dollars. Democrats say there’s no evidence of that, and they argue getting rid of the law would certainly lower workers wages.
Prevailing wage requires construction workers involved in certain government projects be paid a minimum wage equal to wages paid on similar projects.
GOP leaders have said they don’t have the votes to support a full repeal, but hope to reform the current law.
Members of the legislative budget-writing committee are scheduled to meet on Friday. The Joint Finance Committee co-chairs have said they hope to have work on the some $70 billion budget completed before they adjourn for the weekend.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (:52)