Boots & Sabers

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2039, 01 May 15

Battle Over Repealing Prevailing Wage Law

Republicans are making many of us conservatives very, very angry over this.

Madison— Highlighting the Republican split on Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law, a key western Wisconsin senator said Friday that he doesn’t support repealing the statute.

One day after a conservative senator scheduled a committee vote on the prevailing wage repeal, Spring Green Sen. Howard Marklein made clear that the vote on the measure will fail.

On a break from spring planting on his tractor, Marklein said he wants to rewrite the 84-year-old law, not repeal it.

“If the (repeal) bill is as is, I’m going to be voting no,” Marklein said. “The prevailing wage law isn’t perfect by any means, but I’ve got people in my district, contractors and workers, who are affected by it. I’m not comfortable at this point with full repeal.”

There is no rational argument for preserving the prevailing wage law other than that it puts money into the pockets of some business owners and unions. It does so, however, at the cost of every taxpayer in Wisconsin.

Marklein, remember, was just elected after running as a conservative against the long-time RINO Dale Schultz. And now on the first test of his conservatism, he is failing. He is caving to some special interests in his district.


2039, 01 May 2015


  1. Jadedly Unbiased

    As I previously mentioned, it’s the same cowardly action that prevented Governor Walker and other Republicans from including all public sector workers (police and firefighters) in Act 10. Loyalty to party and job security will always win out over the voice of the people. Pissing off to many union workers can seal ones fate.

  2. SteveAustin

    Owen, I’m only for this if we solve the illegal immigration problem. What has happened in the south and west the past 10-15 years is that contractors have imported illegal workers from Mexico, Guatemala, etc by the millions to do construction work.

    In doing so, it has depressed wages for tradesmen terribly and resulted in many shoddy and low quality jobs. I have first hand experience with this.

    Frankly, under this environment, which has been allowed to flourish first under George W Bush and now Obama, I’m heading a bit towards being a protectionist. We’ve got a lot of skilled and talented tradesmen here in WI. Not a fan of selling out one of the last protections they have under these particular circumstances. And that is just the economic side of things.

    On the political aspects of this, I think Walker can build a winning theme here on these issues. At some point, the US has to stop allowing the entire world to immigrate here and in turn lower our standard of living (and yes, I get all the “Ricardo” free trade arguments, but they only work up to a point)

  3. Jadedly Unbiased

    Most public projects are very strict about letting the undocumented work. Unions are even more strict. Lowering these wage limits would deter union workers and open the door for possible undocumented fraud. Public projects would have to be scrutinized even more if the unions were taken out of the picture. This is a round about way of taking down more unions yet trying to save those votes. I do agree immigration reform is a must but Walkers proposal won’t work.

  4. Duke

    I really have a problem with the wacko-birds that have somehow morphed Prevailing Wage into a protection against illegal immigration. Let’s get real here: If my State Representative does not vote to repeal this Diamond Jim Doyle wet dream, I’ll primary him myself.

    Stop overthinking this, and stop trying to provide cover for Robyn Vos and his road builder lobbyist buddies!

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