CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate today voted 18-16 to repeal West Virginia’s prevailing wage rate for all public construction projects.
The bill, House Bill 4005, passed the House of Delegates by a 55-44 vote on January 27.
Last year, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law Senate Bill 361, which eliminated the prevailing wage requirement for public improvement projects costing less than $500,000. It also directed WorkForce West Virginia to work with West Virginia University and Marshall University to determine a new prevailing wage rate using all appropriate economic data, including the average rate of wages published U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. WorkForce West Virginia elected instead to ignore the legislation as written, and went back to the flawed and abused survey method to determine the prevailing wage rate.
House Bill 4005 repeals the prevailing wage rate in its entirety.
“We have a duty and a responsibility to protect our state’s taxpayers, and we have an obligation to make sure their dollars are spent both wisely and fairly,” Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, said. “Repealing the prevailing wage rate is standing up for all of West Virginia’s taxpayers, not just protecting the special interests of a select few.”
The bill awaits further action by Gov. Tomblin.