Wisconsin senators have approved a controversial bill that would prohibit local governments from requiring contractors to follow union labor agreements for public building projects.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), says local officials can still use the so-called “PLA” agreements – but they can just no longer make them a condition of who can bid on projects. Democrats say local leaders may not get the best value for their work if they can no longer require them.
The bill’s supporters say the measure would give non-union contractors a better chance to bid for public work. Opponents warn it will make it easier for out-of-state contractors to bid on projects in Wisconsin, which could result in employees from outside of the state working on them and reduce the quality of the work that’s done. They also believe it will end up reducing wages for workers.
The Senate voted 19-13 Wednesday to approve the bill. It now heads to the Assembly.