Indiana News

Debate Continues Over Common Wage Law

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Supporters of the move to repeal Indiana‘s common construction wage say it would save cities and schools money as they try to squeeze building projects into their budgets.

But local governments are divided on whether repeal is a good idea. Indiana Association of Cities and Towns executive director Matt Greller says IACT‘s informal survey of its members found them divided almost evenly, with a slight majority opposing repeal. He says the issue crosses party lines, with mayors from union-heavy cities tending to oppose repeal regardless of party. IACT isn‘t taking a position on the bill because of the split among its members.

South Bend has taken its opposition a step further. The city‘s Board of Works voted last week to continue to pay the prevailing wage regardless of what the legislature does.

Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he might consider supporting the bill if its claims of cost savings of 10-to-20-percent held up — but he says studies have shown they don‘t.

He says labor only accounts for about 25-percent of a project in the first place.
And Buttigieg maintains the prevailing wage law still serves its original purpose of ensuring government‘s purchasing power doesn‘t depress wages.

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