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GOP Establishment Standing in Way of Prevailing Wage Reform
Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 3/20/2012 | Manny Lopez

Posted on 03/21/2012 5:49:32 AM PDT by MichCapCon

Rep. Joe Graves has been in the Michigan House of Representatives for a week but doesn’t mince words when asked about Michigan’s prevailing wage law.

“I absolutely won’t support increasing any fees or taxes (for road improvements) as long as we have prevailing wage in Michigan,” he said recently at an Independent Tea Party Patriots Meeting in Clarkston.

The Argentine Township Republican, who won a special election to fill the term of Rep. Paul Scott after he was recalled, vowed to work to eliminate the law that mandates that union-scale wages are paid on state construction projects. Prevailing wage laws inflate the costs of projects by up to 15 percent or more and are viewed by many as job killers.

Graves, along with Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, and Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford, spoke most strongly about eliminating the law. In February 2011, Rep. Jacobsen introduced legislation that would end what he said was one of “the most restrictive prevailing wage laws in the country."

Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Orion Township, Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, and Rep. Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake, also said they supported repeal of the law but said there were other considerations and obstacles to making it happen.

“I’ve been working with the bill’s sponsor and the administration,” said Sen. Kowall, who chairs the Senate Economic Development Committee. “We’re hearing that the governor doesn’t want it on his desk. Privately I get a lot of Republicans who tell me, ‘Mike, let’s not move that.’ ”

His response was met with skepticism and subdued anger among the people in attendance.

“Ha,” someone from the back of the room scoffed, adding “spineless politicians.”

The worry among some legislators is that pushing that legislation and other bills like right-to-work that would fundamentally change the labor work rules in the state would cause more harm to the reform plan the governor and the GOP has put in place. All asked for broad public support to combat the army of paid union members who will rally at the State Capitol banging on walls, screaming and making untrue and outlandish statements to the mainstream media.

Such support certainly is necessary, said Bob Hoff, an ITPP advisory board member who moderated the panel discussion, but tea party activists are looking for action as well.

“You’ve got the opportunity now,” Hoff said. “If you wait, you might miss that opportunity.”

TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: unions; wages

1 posted on 03/21/2012 5:49:42 AM PDT by MichCapCon
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To: MichCapCon

I work for a Civil Engineering firm on the west side of the state. We have had municipalities opt out of govt money because in the long run, it is cheaper not to be locked into having to pay prevailing union wages.

2 posted on 03/21/2012 5:54:55 AM PDT by kevslisababy
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To: MichCapCon
yes "reform"... anything liberals want is said to be "reform"

Reform implies correcting a mistake. It implies somethign positive, and/or a repair.

"Prevailing Wage" is nothing of the sort. It demands that everyone get paid union wages, usually at many times what a private sector is willing to do it for. My cousin owns an electical contracting business.

When he is "lucky" enough to win a prevaling wage conteract, he goes to work on the job site himself, because what he HAS TO pay himself is more than he normally earns running the business, AND he makes a profit as well.

They TELL HIM what he has to pay his workers for that job.

Usually it is a government contract, so the government is paying top-dollar, usually for greatly inflated time estimates.

3 posted on 03/21/2012 5:58:42 AM PDT by Mr. K (If Romney wins the primary, I am writing-in PALIN)
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To: kevslisababy

We all knew what Snyder was. The MI GOP is as broke as national GOP.

4 posted on 03/21/2012 6:01:54 AM PDT by TheRake
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To: TheRake

Yep. Snyder, Richardville, Khann and many more.

5 posted on 03/21/2012 6:03:13 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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I’m thinking about starting a Michigan Capitol Confidential pinglist. If anyone wants one let me know and I’ll start tomorrow if there’s enough interest.

6 posted on 03/21/2012 6:04:46 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: MichCapCon

That’s not to mention that the job done normally sucks. If the materials are bad, then there’s more work next year.

7 posted on 03/21/2012 6:09:19 AM PDT by Darren McCarty (Time for brokered convention)
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To: cripplecreek

If you do CC, please put me on it.


8 posted on 03/21/2012 6:13:13 AM PDT by Springman (Rest In Peace YaYa123 and Bahbah.)
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To: cripplecreek

I don’t understand or remember why Snyder was the front runner from the beginning. Buchard had the support of Brooks Patterson in Oakland county and couldn’t get any traction.

9 posted on 03/21/2012 6:19:57 AM PDT by TheRake
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