The Kentucky legislature over the weekend passed a bill to repeal the state's prevailing wage law. With the signature of Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky will become the 21st state not subject to prevailing wage requirements on public construction projects and the 27th Right to Work state (the fifth to reject forced unionization since 2012), according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
The bill contains and emergency clause allowing it to become effective immediately. With passage of the bill, state officials will no longer set the wages for construction workers on publicly financed projects. The bill will not affect federal projects.
The bill passed the Kentucky Senate by a vote of 25 to 12 and passed the Kentucky House of Representatives by a vote of 60 to 35.
The Senate also passed Right to Work legislation by a vote of 25 to 12. The Right to Work legislation prevents workers from being required to join a labor union in order to accept or maintain a job. The Kentucky House of Representatives passed the Right to Work legislation by a vote of 61 to 34.
“By creating new opportunities for all Kentucky contractors shut out by the archaic and costly prevailing wage law, and allowing workers to freely decide whether to join a labor union, the Kentucky legislature has enacted needed improvements to the state’s business climate, ranked 32nd in the country by ABC’s latest Merit Shop Scorecard,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck.