Senate Passes Chamber-Supported Legislation to Repeal Prevailing Wage Law

May 18, 2015

The Michigan Senate last week passed a three-bill package of legislation to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law by a vote of 22-15. Michigan Chamber staff testified in support of Senate Bills 1, 2 and 3, as Chamber members have identified repeal of the prevailing wage as a 2015-2016 legislative priority.

Michigan’s prevailing wage law specifies that construction projects funded with taxpayer money must pay a wage commensurate with wages set in a local collective bargaining agreement. This backwards policy specifies that, on government construction projects, the labor component will not be subject to competitive bidding, but rather set by government officials in accordance with prevailing union wages—regardless of whether the employee has chosen to join a union or would voluntarily accept a different wage from his or her employer. 

The Michigan Chamber supports SBs 1-3 because the legislation is aimed at making Michigan more competitive. In addition, the legislation would ensure public officials are searching for the best deal for taxpayers when commissioning public works projects, allowing them to better manage their budgets, and it would eliminate the red tape and bureaucratic nightmare our state’s contractors encounter as they try to comply with Michigan’s complicated law. 

The Michigan Chamber is urging the Michigan House to take prompt action on this important package of bills.

For more information, contact Wendy Block at (517) 371-7678 or wblock@michamber.com