May 29, 2015

Working for you!


Prevailing Wage

I have heard from many constituents through emails, phone calls, surveys, and in person about Wisconsin's prevailing wage laws (see below for description).

About 90% of you who contacted me about this support the full repeal of this practice. I have always supported repealing prevailing wage, and I have made no secret of this with my colleagues. Earlier this week, I added my name to the list of co-sponsors for the bill that repeals these laws because I believe this action will result in significant taxpayer savings. In particular, the benefits to our local school districts and municipalities will be substantial, and that's why this proposal has support across party lines. Repeal would result in cutting the costs on almost every building project they do, ultimately saving money. My strong belief in the free market system leaves no doubt in my mind that repeal of this artificial wage is the only proper course of action.

My constituents are also frustrated that the bill to repeal is not moving as quickly as they would like. While I certainly want the chance to vote for repeal, I have to be pragmatic. The Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform didn't recommend passage on its 2-3 vote, and the Assembly Committee on Labor recommended repeal by a slim 5-4 vote. Many legislators support full repeal, but we don't have a solid majority of votes in both houses yet. Realistically, if the Assembly voted to repeal but the measure didn't pass in the Senate, then we have to look to alternatives and compromises. I believe we are heading toward meaningful reform, and I consider that a win.

Wisconsin's prevailing wage laws: The prevailing wage in Wisconsin is outlined in three laws. State prevailing wage law applies to certain projects of public works to which the state or any state agency is a party. Local prevailing wage law applies to certain projects of public works undertaken by local governments. Highway prevailing wage law applies to projects under a contract based on bids to which the state is a party for the construction or improvement of highways.


Generally, under current prevailing wage laws, laborers, workers, mechanics and truck drivers employed on the site of certain projects of public works: 1) must be paid at the rate paid for a majority of hours worked in the person's trade or occupation in the area in which the project is located, as determined by the Department of Workforce Development; and 2) may not be required or permitted to work a greater number of hours per day and per week than the prevailing hours of labor, which is no more than 10 hours per day and 40 hours per week, unless they are paid 1.5 times their basic rate of pay (commonly referred to as overtime pay) for all hours worked in excess of the prevailing hours of labor. Source: Nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau

My Spring 2015 Survey

The Spring Survey responses are still coming in every day, online and via mail. Thanks for all of you who are taking the time to let me know your views. As always, feel free to get in touch any time by phone, mail, email or in person. My Survey Page

Meeting with the Fox Valley Hmong Community

Earlier this month, some of my colleagues and I had the pleasure of meeting with leaders of the Fox Valley Hmong community in Appleton. I enjoyed learning more about the concerns and perspective of these important people in our area.





I live in Greenville, but have an office at the State Capitol in Madison. If you are in downtown Madison, please feel free to stop by and say hello! Just go to the information desk in the rotunda, and they can direct you on how to find my office, 318 North. At the bottom of each e-news, you'll see my office contact information.

If your school or group plans to tour the Capitol building, please let me know in advance. I'd love to visit with you for a few minutes and take a group photo.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

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