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Mar
2015
10

Nevada’s Prevailing Wage Volleyball Ends with Sand in Workers’ Faces

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A bill to suspend prevailing wage requirements on school construction projects passed the Nevada assembly on a 23-19 vote after some remarkable political volleying.  The bill also includes language that will allow school districts to rollover bond authority to pay for construction projects.  

At one point, the bill was scrapped, only to be brought back up for a vote after Republican Assemblyman John Moore filed a complaint with the legislative police claiming he was threatened in a stairwell by a member of his own party. He later changed his vote and suggested he’d (conveniently) patched things up with his colleague.

The bill faced stiff opposition from Democrats who believed it would harm middle-class contractors and the state’s construction workers.  During debate, Assembly Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick argued that “there was nothing in the bill that protects Nevada workers.”

“It will cut wages on people who have been out of work for over five years in our state,” Kirkpatrick told the Review-Journal. “So middle-class workers will take it on the chin.”

The AFL-CIO aired commercials throughout the state on Thursday asking Governor Brian Sandoval to veto the bill.  Union also held rallies in Las Vegas and Carson City.

Some conservatives opposed the bill on the grounds that the rollover measure was a tax increase voters did not support.  Ultimately, Sandoval signed the bill on Friday, calling it a “narrowly tailored, extraordinary measure.”

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