A bill before the Minnesota Legislature would allow the state to suspend prevailing wage requirements on state-funded construction projects if November budget projections show a 1% or greater deficit.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chris Gerlach, claims the legislation would prevent Minnesota taxpayers from paying “more than they ought for market-rate services.” Supporters claim the bill will create jobs and be an efficient use of taxpayer money.
Not surprisingly, unions disagree. They claim the state law guards against the deflationary wages and cost cutting that prompted passage of the Davis-Bacon Act during the Great Depression.
Each side has studies to back its position. Passage seems unlikely in the Democratic Farmer Labor Party controlled Legislature, but supporters hope to build on rising economic anxiety to pass the measure.
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