February 5, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Charleston, WA – West Virginia’s Republican-led House of Delegates on Jan. 27 approved a bill to end the state’s prevailing-wage requirement for public construction projects. The 55-44 vote was largely along party lines, with eight Republicans and all 36 Democrats voting no.
“Today is that day that you will decide to stand with the taxpayer or to stand with the union bosses,” said Republican Del. Eric Householder. “I never thought I would see the day that we would be debating an issue that is going to take money out of the pockets of working West Virginians,” responded Democrat Mike Caputo, who is also a United Mine Workers official. The bill now goes to the state Senate, which has an 18-16 GOP majority. If Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin—who last year signed a compromise bill that eliminated the prevailing wage for projects costing $500,000 or less—vetoes it before the legislature’s 60-day session is over, he can be overridden by a simple majority. Read more