In Pennsylvania’s Penn-Delco school district, located in Southeastern Pennsylvania approximately 15 miles southwest of Philadelphia, a victory was scored for workers when a resolution proposed by State Rep. Warren Kampf that would allow exemptions from the prevailing wage on construction projects with over $10,000 in state funding was voted down by a 6-2 margin. While the resolution was debated, supporters argued it provided tax relief to working families while detractors noted it would lower wages for area workers.
A less welcome result to a similar proposal, however, came from heavily Republican Eaton County, Michigan where an anti-prevailing wage bill landed a 12-3 victory with (hold on to your hats…) the three Democrats on the Board of Commissioners voting against. Democrat Glenn Fremman III had strong words for the bill saying the Democrats were “not big on the plantation mentality.”
Republicans suggest the prevailing wage was too costly.
Interestingly, when Democrats held the majority on the Eaton County Board of Commissioners, the prevailing wage requirements were framed as good for the community. Democrat Linda Keefe, chair of the board’s ways and means commission in 2008 when the newly-reversed policies went into effect, notes that just four years ago the board argued workers being paid poverty wages would be a drain on social services.
Round and round, round we go.