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Lawmakers Decide to Proceed with Repeal of Prevailing Wage

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia is eliminating its prevailing wage for public construction projects.

In House and Senate Republican party-line votes Friday, lawmakers rebuked Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's veto Thursday. Some House Republicans voted no.

A simple majority was required, a relatively easy bar compared to other states.

Republicans believe the wage is inflated and say repealing it would save taxpayer money. Democrats say the repeal wouldn't produce savings, but would reduce pay and benefit out-of-state contractors.

Unions starkly opposed the repeal, though the wage applies to union and non-union contracts.

Republican leaders aren't happy with a compromise last year that let Tomblin's administration retool the wage.

In his veto, Tomblin said last year's agreement was "all for naught."

The repeal becomes effective 90 days from its original passage.

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