It's common sense: Workers should be paid a fair wage that allows them to provide for themselves and their families.
Last year I introduced HB 2185, a bill that would allow local units of government the option to incorporate a prevailing wage requirement on public construction projects.
In Wyandotte County prevailing wage has been used very effectively and has helped us realize the economic renaissance and success that we have seen in the Village West area with Kansas Speedway, the Legends Shopping Center, the Cerner Campus, Sporting KC and the Hollywood Casino. I have worked to move forward a measure that would remove the prohibition imposed by the Kansas Legislature 4 years ago on our local units of government prohibiting them from requiring prevailing wage be paid on local public construction projects.
A year ago yesterday, HB 2185 received a hearing in the House Commerce Labor and Economic Development Committee. However, the committee has yet to work the bill. I am hopeful that the committee will work the bill this session.
Benefits of a prevailing wage policy include reducing the leakage of construction funds, jobs, income, and spending from the local economy.
Prevailing wage laws ensure that all workers are provided with basic health care and paid leave protection, the economic data is clear: Jobs are not destroyed, employer profits do not decline, and regions with high standards do not suffer disinvestment.
Studies also show that prevailing wage leads to local job growth with more work being completed by in-state contractors, including a UMKC Study that showed that prevailing wage supports a highly skilled and safe construction workforce that delivers more cost-effective construction projects and improves the overall economic health of communities.
Prevailing wage isn't about partisan politics, it's about good policy. Even GOP Leaders in Indiana have confirmed what numerous reports have shown: that prevailing wage does not increase the overall cost of projects.
Join me in urging my colleagues in the Kansas Legislature to take action on HB 2185. Add your name to the growing list of Kansans who think workers deserve to earn a fair wage!