Boots & Sabers

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1942, 29 Jun 15

Assembly Republicans Advance Prevailing Wage Changes

Make no mistake, this is an effort to derail an actual repeal of this ridiculous and expensive law.

The Assembly plan would significantly increase the minimum threshold for the cost of projects that are subject to prevailing wage — putting that threshold at $450,000, which Assembly Republicans said would be the second-highest of any state. The current thresholds in Wisconsin are between $48,000 and $100,000, depending on the project. The Assembly plan also would link the threshold to future increases through indexing.

The proposal would change the state’s formula for calculating prevailing wage, in an effort to address what some say are artificially high wages in rural areas. It also would carve out prevailing-wage exemptions for technical college projects, residential and agricultural projects and projects funded primarily by charitable donations.

You know, I keep hearing Vos say that he doesn’t have the votes to pass a full repeal in the Assembly, but he won’t call a vote to prove it. There are 35 co-sponsors of the bill for full repeal. They are:

Hutton, Sanfelippo, Jacque, Knodl,Kapenga, Craig, Kooyenga, Allen, August, Ballweg, Bernier, Born,Brandtjen, E. Brooks, R. Brooks, Czaja, Gannon, Jagler, Jarchow,Katsma, Kleefisch, Knudson, Kremer, Kuglitsch, Kulp, T. Larson,Neylon, J. Ott, Petersen, Schraa, Skowronski, Swearingen, Thiesfeldt,Tittl and Weatherston;


The bill needs 50 votes to pass, so assuming that all of the Democrats will vote against repeal and all of the Republican co-sponsors will vote for it, that means that Vos thinks that at least 11 of the following Republicans will vote against a full repeal:

Tyler August – Lake Geneva – 32nd (on this list in error – is a co-sponsor. He’s for full repeal!)
Dave Craig – Big Bend – 83rd
James Edming – Glen Flora – 87th
Dave Heaton – Wausau – 85th
Cody Horlacher – Mukwonago – 33rd
Terry Katsma – Oostburg – 26th
Samantha Kerkman – Randall – 61st
Joel Kitchens – Sturgeon Bay – 1st
Scott Krug – Wisconsin Rapids – 72nd
Amy Laudenbeck – Clinton – 31st
John Macco – Ledgeview – 88th
Dave Murphy – Greenville – 56th
Jeff Mursau – Crivitz – 36th
John Murtha – Baldwin – 29th
Lee Nerison – Westby – 96th
Todd Novak – Dodgeville – 51st
John Nygren – Marinette – 89th
Al Ott – Forest Junction – 3rd
Warren Petryk – Elva – 93rd
Romaine Quinn – Rice Lake – 75th
Keith Ripp – Lodi – 42nd
Jessie Rodriguez – Franklin – 21st
Mike Rohrkaste – Neenah – 55th
John Spiros – Marshfield – 86th
David Steffen – Green Bay – 4th
Jim Steineke – Kaukauna – 5th
Gary Tauchen – Bonduel – 6th
Travis Tranel – Cuba City – 49th
Nancy VanderMeer – Tomah – 70th
Tyler Vorpagel – Plymouth – 27th
And, of course, Robin Vos – Rochester – 63rd

So who are the hold outs? Let’s try to narrow it down some. Vos has claimed to be in support of full repeal, so that’s 36 votes in favor. Who else is on record? Jessie Rodriguez was elected as a conservative darling in Franklin, does she support full repeal? What about John Nygren? Scott Krug?

As Speaker, Vos won’t name names, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t. Which Republican Assemblymen are preventing Vos from calling for a vote on full repeal?


1942, 29 June 2015


  1. steveegg

    One name is Robin Vos himself (Roadbuilders-Rochester).

    They threatened to do to him and everybody who does more than this weak-soup of a “reform” (which is nothing of the sort) what they did to Tom Reynolds after he pushed through the end of the automatic increase in the gas tax. After all, they play both sides of the bipartisan Party-In-Government equally now, and have no qualms about tilting their scales on either side if it meant they keep on getting first dibs at the trough.

  2. Pastor Bill

    Tyler August is co-sponsor of the bill to repeal and I just spoke with Brian in his office who assures me he is still on board for a full repeal.

  3. Owen

    Awesome. My error putting him on the naughty list. I’ve crossed him off. Thanks for checking!

  4. Fairs Fare

    After doing some research about a topic I admit wasn’t on my radar I have come to the conclusion efforts to change prevailing wage are nothing more then another pick pocket of the average working man. The savings to communities are inflated and there is no guarantee large construction companies will adjust bidding to satisfy the taxpayers. As we all know bidding tends to be very competitive and companies capable of handling large road projects have a “monopoly” on the industry. Profit is the real agenda. Big construction industry “owners” are the ones fueling this fight. Their lobbying efforts and any possible success will only increase profits for those at the top while once again pulling profits out of the average working mans pocket. Profit over people disguised as tax savings is at the heart of this issue. Republicans should be careful. Alienating construction workers and stealing from their pay is certainly one way to turn them away from the party.

  5. Duke

    Owen – you’ve also got Terry Katsma listed in your naughty list. He’s a co-sponsor of the repeal bill. Also, for what it’s worth, Tyler Vorpagel has stated publicly in his district that he would vote to repeal.

    Simply put, Robin Vos is pretty much the Wisconsin version of Harry Reid!

  6. Owen

    Two more off the list. We’re narrowing it down. Thanks, Duke

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