Iowa legislature delay vote on prevailing wage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa legislature delay vote on prevailing wage

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Iowa lawmakers delay their vote on the prevailing wage bill.

The House worked on the measure late Thursday night.  The bill would require contractors on public projects pay a prevailing wage, which is essentially a minimum pay and benefits package set by labor leaders.

Supporters say the prevailing wage would prevent contractors from hiring cheap, unskilled labor in order to win government contracts, which usually go to the lowest bidder. Critics say that would cost taxpayers more on public projects, thus increasing taxes.

Waterloo's electrical workers union says studies show it actually saves money by ensuring quality construction.

"There's a difference there, a tradeoff where a job may be getting done at a higher quality and getting done quicker," said Rich Kurtenbach of the Electrical Workers Union Local 288.

Critics also argue the prevailing wage would eliminate competition from smaller contractors that can't afford the prevailing wage.

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