MI Senate Makes Prevailing Wage Repeal First Introduced Legislation

For Immediate Release:
January 18, 2017

Jeff Wiggins


LANSING, MI – Today, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Michigan applauded the introduction of Senate Bills 1, 2, and 3 to repeal Michigan’s archaic “prevailing wage” law and provide for more fiscal responsibility with taxpayer dollars. 

“For years, our schools, universities, and state government have been forced to overspend taxpayer dollars on construction projects, instead of hiring the best company for the best price,” said Jeff Wiggins, State Director of ABC. “The fact that these bills were the first to be introduced this legislative session sends a strong message from Michigan taxpayers and their elected representatives that they feel repeal is necessary.”

Senate Bills 1-3, sponsored by Majority Leader Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive), Sen. Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), and Sen. Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc), would remove the government mandate which states work and compensation rules on construction projects funded by taxpayer dollars are determined exclusively by union agreements.

“Repealing this outdated law would allow Michigan construction companies to compete based on proven free market principles and allow public projects to be completed by the best person for the job,” Wiggins explained. “Without repeal, all public projects would continue to be hamstrung by costly classifications exclusively determined by union agreements, which represent a significantly small portion of the industry.”

Michigan is only 1 of 6 states that has a prevailing wage exclusively determined by union classifications, despite roughly 75% of the state’s construction industry not being affiliated with a union.

“With Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and, just recently, Kentucky all choosing to overhaul or repeal this outdated law and promote policies that embrace freedom, it is time for Michigan to do the same,” says Wiggins. “Forty-four other states have a competitive edge over us simply because they reject artificial wage mandates or at least base their rates on more accurate and reliable measures.”

“Michigan’s hardworking families want to believe that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively,” said Mike Houseman, Chairman of ABC of Michigan and President of the North American Division of Wolverine Building Group. “Repealing prevailing wage is good public policy that will provide more job opportunities through more construction projects.”  

Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan is a statewide association serving Michigan's commercial and industrial construction sectors.  Founded on the merit shop philosophy to provide equal opportunities to all contractors and all workers, ABC of Michigan works with three state chapters to help members develop people, win work, and deliver that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.