The Governmental Research Association has presented the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) its annual Most Distinguished Research award. The award was given at the Government Research Association’s annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The award was for WISTAX’s 2015 publication “Evaluating Wisconsin’s Approach to Determining Prevailing Wages.” The report studied how Wisconsin calculated prevailing wages for public sector projects, and was even featured in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.
While the publication did not take a position on prevailing wages, it identified different defects and flaws in the law that created differences in wages paid to workers in a variety of projects statewide. The report found in 2014, state and local governments paid between $200 to $300 million more while paying prevailing wages than if market wages could have been used.
2015 Wisconsin Act 55, the 2015-17 state budget, repeals Wisconsin prevailing wage law for local governmental units effective January 1, 2017. The act also modified the prevailing wage for highway projects by replacing the state’s classification system and calculation of prevailing wage rates with the prevailing wage rate determined under federal law.