Assembly Republicans offer prevailing wage compromise

On Monday, Assembly Republicans released a plan to exempt 60% of public projects from Wisconsin’s prevailing wage laws, which has been a thorny issue among GOP lawmakers trying to pass a new state budget.

Many conservative groups and some construction organizations have lobbied for full repeal of the prevailing wage, which sets a minimum pay rate for workers on publicly funded projects.

But Senate Republicans haven’t been able to reach a consensus on prevailing wage, not to mention transportation funding and a proposal to provide public funds for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena, which is threatening to delay passage of a budget bill.

The Assembly plan significantly increases 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, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. 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.