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Kill the 'prevailing wage'

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Sunday, March 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Because more road and bridge work would be done under Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed $1.8 billion transportation package if Pennsylvania did away with its prevailing wage law, this is an ideal time to do the right thing for state taxpayers by repealing it.

Among conservative Republicans pushing to do so is Lancaster's Rep. Gordon Denlinger, who's sponsoring outright repeal legislation and wants to make prevailing wage reform part of this spring's transportation legislation.

The prevailing wage law's demise is long overdue. Applying to publicly funded construction projects worth more than $25,000, it in effect guarantees that unionized contractors get such work because its county-by-county pay standards reflect union wages, artificially hiking labor costs by at least 10 percent and pricing out nonunion contractors and workers.

Yes, prevailing wages still would apply to projects involving federal money under the Davis-Bacon Act. Yet reform at the state level would “save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars,” according to Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-Cumberland, making it a step in the right direction that's manifestly worth taking.

Of course, unions and their Democrat puppets will fight hard against doing so. Taxpayers must counter those special interests' influence by pressuring lawmakers of both parties to end prevailing wages' ongoing plundering of their pockets, which flies in the face of the public's best interests.

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