A petition to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law is headed to the Michigan Legislature after it was unanimously approved Friday by the Board of State Canvassers.
The Legislature will now have 40 days to approve the petition – which would repeal a law applying union-level wages to job sites for public projects, such as schools and government buildings – or send it to the November ballot for voter action.
Prevailing wage repeal is popular among Republican leadership in the Legislature. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, sponsored prevailing wage repeal legislation earlier this year.
In April, the board deadlocked 2-2 over certifying the petition after questions were raised about petition circulators with questionable residential addresses on their forms.
Following the board’s deadlock, the Michigan Court of Appeals in May ordered the board to certify the petitions, saying that even if some of the residential addresses provided by petition circulators were fraudulent, it wouldn’t prevent elector signatures from being counted.
Repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage law is a controversial issue.
Construction and trade unions argue getting rid of the law would hurt efforts to hire and retain skilled workers, as well as cheapen the value of their work. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he supports the prevailing wage law.
But supporters of the petition to repeal the law say doing so would save taxpayers money by eliminating overspending on state-sponsored construction projects.