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Analyst says: Fresh from election victories, GOP may move to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Now that Republicans have strengthened their control of the Michigan Legislature, one analyst expects a fight to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law.

Republicans picked up four seats in the state House on Tuesday, expanding their majority to 63 of the 110 seats. Republicans also added a state Senate seat.The GOP will hold a 27-to-11 margin in the Senate when the next session begins in 2015.

Bill Ballenger is with Inside Michigan Politics. He says Republicans may not have a better opportunity than they will have next year to repeal the prevailing wage law.

“(Repealing the Prevailing Wage law) has been a long-sought goal of the business community and conservative Republicans over the years,” says Ballenger.

The law requires union wages and benefits for workers on state-funded construction projects.

But Ballenger expects if Republicans move to repeal prevailing wage, they can expect unions to react the same way they did to the passage of the right-to-work law and “bring cries of bloody murder from the Democrats if that happens.”

Ballenger thinks there’s a chance a road construction spending bill will pass in the upcoming lame-duck session. But he admits it’s more likely the bill will be delayed until the new legislative session begins in 2015.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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