Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Supreme Court has granted a leave for appeal by Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan (ABC), an action that could lead to local prevailing wage ordinances being invalidated throughout the state.

“Given the conflicting court cases over the past few years, we agree with the Supreme Court that the legality of excessive and expensive local prevailing wage schemes needs to be taken under review,” said Chris Fisher, ABC of Michigan President. “We believe a strong case will be made that these mandates are illegal, and that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule on the side of Michigan taxpayers.”

Prevailing wage mandates create a hodgepodge of wage and benefit classifications and payment schedules that exist only for taxpayer-funded construction. ABC and others have long maintained that these government construction schemes are complicated, costly, and create an administrative burden. A contractor working on a prevailing wage project in Lansing on Monday, a prevailing wage project in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, and a project in Detroit on Wednesday may have to alter his or her pay and benefit package three times in three days. Michigan’s construction industry workforce is more highly compensated than most other vocations in the state, but neither Lansing’s nor the state’s prevailing wage mandate aligns with these already competitive market rates. A 2013 non-partisan Anderson Economic Group study found that prevailing wage in the education sector alone cost taxpayers an additional $2.25 billion over the past decade with no corresponding benefit.

“Prevailing wage ordinances, like other wage and benefit issues, are properly under the purview of the state, not the 1,800-plus local units of government that can come up with 1,800 inconsistent sets of rules to navigate. We trust that a consistently applied decision from the Court will settle this confusing issue and bring about a level playing field that encourages growth, opportunity and economic development statewide,” noted Fisher.

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ABC of Michigan is a statewide trade association representing the commercial and industrial construction industries. Dedicated to open competition, equal opportunity and accountability in construction, ABC members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.