Assembly Republicans introduce prevailing wage bill

MADISON (AP) — Assembly Republicans have introduced a bill that would wipe out requirements that public works contractors be paid the prevailing wage.

Under current Wisconsin statutes, laborers, workers, mechanics and truck drivers who work on state or local public works projects or on highway projects involving the state must be paid wages equivalent to wages paid for similar projects. The statutes are designed to prevent employers from manipulating their workers' wages enough that they could underbid competitors for government work.

The bill would eliminate the laws but leave intact statutes prohibiting local governments from enacting their own prevailing wage laws or ordinances.

The measure has a host of Republican sponsors in the Assembly. Assembly leaders have referred the bill to the chamber's labor committee.