Contact: Rep. Gary Hebl, (608) 266-7678
(MADISON) – Today Representative Gary Hebl (D- Sun Prairie) criticized the upcoming efforts to repeal prevailing wage, a Wisconsin law since 1931, which ensures uniform hourly wages paid to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics on publicly funded projects. A recent report from Midwest Economic Policy Institute found that repeal of prevailing wage could cost Wisconsin taxpayers as much as $336 million per year.
“Prevailing wages benefit some of the most important workers in our state,” Hebl said. “The roads and bridges that we rely on every day are built by workers that depend on prevailing wages. These are workers trying to support their families and can ill afford a pay cut.”
Hebl said that it is being presented as a cost-saving measure for the state. But he pointed out that this repeal would, in fact, end up costing more money for Wisconsin’s taxpayers.
“According to different estimates, repealing the prevailing wage would amount to between a fourteen and forty-four percent pay cut,” Hebl continued. “That means we could see even more families having to resort to safety net programs, which is going to end up costing Wisconsin’s taxpayers even more money. The report from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute shows that this is not a cost-saving measure. It is an outright attack on workers.”
“This is par for the course for the Walker Administration and this corporations-first Republican legislative majority. For six years we have seen endless attacks on workers, and they know they can get away with it because of their partisan gerrymandering. They continually pass unpopular laws because they know they won’t be held accountable.”