The Front Porch: Should We Keep the Prevailing Wage?

West Virginia Public Broadcasting - Should the government require wages over a certain level for taxpayer-funded construction projects? Listen

In West Virginia, some Republicans want to repeal the prevailing wage law altogether - like Laurie Lin of our podcast, "The Front Porch"

In her Charleston Daily Mail column, she writes that the prevailing wage benefits a small group of workers and businesses:

"Under prevailing wage laws, public money is misspent on unrealistically high wages — or worse, it's not spent at all, because the laws make labor prohibitively expensive.

"Working people pay taxes too. They use schools and roads. And they deserve to see their money spent carefully — on fair wages set by a free market," Lin writes.

Meanwhile, the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, which receives some union support, produced a study disputing the idea that the prevailing wage costs taxpayers more:

"The repeal of prevailing wage laws leads to less workforce training, less experience in the workforce, higher injury rates, lower health and pension coverage, and lower wages.


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