Workers on Memorial Union

Public projects in Wisconsin, such as the renovation of UW-Madison's Memorial Union, would no longer be subject to state prevailing wage requirements under a measure before the Legislature.

AMBER ARNOLD, CAPITAL NEWSPAPERS

Oh, yes, let's make sure we can finance all those fancy new road projects the Scott Walker administration wants to undertake by cutting wages of the very workers who build them.

That, in a nutshell, is what the governor and several of his Republican colleagues want to do later today by fully repealing the prevailing wage law, which has helped equalize wages paid to workers on public construction jobs throughout the state.

We don't want to raise gasoline taxes nor do we want to raise registration fees, Walker said in signaling to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance that he would sign a complete repeal of the law that requires construction companies with government contracts to pay the wages that are typically paid on private projects in their area.

The law has helped ensure that working people are paid a fair wage. It has prevented firms that are bidding on government contracts from paying substandard wages so they can win the bids and effectively shut out those firms that pay a fair wage. Once again, it's a blatant attack on union workers in Wisconsin.

Many construction companies and others that bid on public projects have pleaded with the governor and legislators not to destroy a system that has worked well for taxpayers, businesses and workers for decades in this state.

It's unfair to once again take money from working people, who pay taxes and help the economy, too, so that the state can further its wrongheaded austerity theory, an ideology that has left Wisconsin at the bottom of economic progress.

Enlightened members of Joint Finance will vote "no" on this latest piece of discriminatory legislation.

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