GOP PUTS HYPER-PARTISANSHIP ABOVE COOPERATION ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2015

GOP PUTS HYPER-PARTISANSHIP ABOVE COOPERATION ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION 

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democrats condemned Republicans for hijacking bipartisan school construction bond rollover legislation to push measures that will hurt middle class families. A Republican version of the construction bill, SB 119, removes prevailing wage requirements from school construction projects. SB 119 was heard before the Senate Government Affairs Committee today. 

Sen. Debbie Smith has introduced SB 106, which allows school districts to rollover bonds without gutting existing fair wage requirements. The bill has bipartisan support and was named a Southern Nevada Priority at the Southern Nevada Forum in January. 

“We should be able to put schools first without putting some middle-class families last,” said Democratic Leader Sen. Aaron D. Ford. “Unfortunately, for Republicans this has never been about building safe, quality schools for our kids. Instead it’s about pushing their narrow, partisan agenda at the expense of Nevada’s middle class families. All Nevadans deserve a fair shot at success.” 

Numerous studies reviewing prevailing wage laws across the country have found no evidence that the requirements increase construction costs. In fact, prevailing wage laws generally help ensure that highly-skilled, local laborers work on construction projects. In some cases, overall costs are actually lowered due to increased worker productivity. Removing the requirements leads to a less experienced and less skilled workforce, lower workplace productivity, and lower quality end results. 

“Schools should be built by experienced, highly skilled construction workers, and those workers deserve a fair wage that can support their families,” said Sen. Kelvin Atkinson. “Gutting these laws will leave the safety and quality of our kids’ schools in the hands of the lowest bidder. That’s wrong.”

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