Prevailing Wage Law Repealed Effective January 1, 2017

Wisconsin’s more than 80-year-old Prevailing Wage law has been eliminated for cities, villages and towns (and some other local governmental units), effective January 1, 2017. Although complicated in many ways, the gist of the existing prevailing wage law is that it requires a minimum wage scale that must be paid to workers on publicly funded construction projects with total estimated costs that equal or exceed certain thresholds. The current thresholds are $48,000 for single trade projects, $100,000 for  multiple trade projects, and $234,000 for towns of any size, and for cities and villages with populations under 2,500.

During the 2015 and 2016 calendar years, the prevailing wage laws remain in effect. The legislation included a statement that this repeal was a matter of statewide concern, and that municipalities are prohibited from enacting local prevailing wage laws.

The repeal of the prevailing wage law was part of the annual budget, a copy of which can be found here.

In addition, according to the Department of Workforce  Development, projects which are under contract or for which the  local government has issued a request for bids prior to January 1, 2017, will remain subject to the prevailing wage law for the life of the project. See the following DWD webpages for details:

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