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Nusaiba Mizan
By Nusaiba Mizan March 9, 2021

Evers returns to prevailing wage issue

In 2015 and 2017, Republican Gov. Walker and the Republican-run Legislature repealed prevailing wage laws, which had required the state to pay a minimum level of wages for each trade in different areas of Wisconsin.

As a candidate, Gov. Tony Evers promised to undo those changes.

The governor's 2019 budget called for going back to the old system, but the Legislature took it out. So we rated this promise Stalled.

Evers has returned the measure to his 2021-23 budget proposal, introduced in February.

His plan would require that laborers, workers, mechanics, and truck drivers employed in public works be paid the prevailing wage and work no more than the prevailing hours of labor unless paid overtime. The law would cover state highway projects that meet a specific cost threshold, minor service or maintenance work, and some residential projects.

If a contractor fails to pay the prevailing wage rate or overtime pay to an employee as required by prevailing wage law, they would be liable to pay the amount of unpaid wages and overtime as well as liquidated damages equal to 100% of the unpaid wages and overtime pay.

With Republicans still controlling the Senate and Assembly, the fate of this effort may well match that of the last one.

But, for now we return the rating to In the Works.



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Eric Litke
By Eric Litke November 19, 2019

Republicans kill prevailing wage rollback

Laws passed in 2015 and 2017 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-run Legislature repealed the state's prevailing wage law.

The law in place until then required the state to pay certain minimum levels for construction workers. This was determined for each trade in various areas of the state.

Campaigning against Walker, Tony Evers said he would repeal those changes that "simply take money out of Wisconsin workers' pockets." Now governor, Evers tried to follow through with his first budget. Republicans weren't having it.

Evers' budget proposed going back to the system in place prior to 2015, but the Republican Legislature removed this from the budget.

There are still three years left in Evers' term, and he has one more budget in which to address this.

For now we rate this promise Stalled.

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