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Court Says Legislature Can Vote On Prevailing Wage Initiative

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A court says the Legislature gets to vote on a petition-initiated bill that would outlaw rules for how workers are paid on publicly funded projects. We have more from Capital Bureau Chief Rick Pluta.

Prevailing wage rules adopted by the state and some local governments in Michigan require contractors to pay union-level wages on taxpayer-funded projects.

A group led by non-union builders turned in almost 270 thousand signatures of registered voters to put the question of banning prevailing wage rules to the Legislature. But opponents challenged petitions where circulators listed home addresses as places that were not, in fact, residential addresses. A state election board deadlocked on certifying the petitions.

The Michigan Court of Appeals says the remedy in that case is not to throw out the petitions. It says the petitions should be certified, and the question sent to the Legislature. It’s expected Republican majorities would approve the initiative, which cannot be vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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