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.
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.
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
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
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
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