House Minority Leader Disputing Republican Claims on Prevailing Wage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-Harrison, 48) said on Thursday’s edition of MetroNews Talkline that Republicans in the State House were being “intellectually dishonest” in their stance on the prevailing wage kerfuffle that erupted last week.

There may be no prevailing wage on publicly financed construction projects (applies to projects over $500,000) after July 1 if WorkForce West Virginia doesn’t submit additional details on their calculations to the legislature’s Committee on Government and Finance.

Republicans have claimed that the law isn’t being followed as it was written–a stance Miley disputes.

“Don’t make up a position that they didn’t follow the law,” said Miley. “They followed the statute, and the statute is pretty darn clear.”

WorkForce West Virginia has said they are attempting to gather data from more than 5,000 contractors and sub-contractors. The new law puts prevailing wage in the hands of WorkForce West Virginia along with experts from WVU and Marshall.

“The method to doing that, so says WorkForce West Virginia, is to go to these employers who are paying these wages and benefits and collect the actual data from them,” said Miley.

Republicans have contested that the new formula should only incorporate information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They’ve also contested that the survey-method resembles the old law, and that participation is generally low–making these numbers unreliable.

In defense, WorkForce West Virginia has cited an on-the-ground effort to collect the data.

“Maybe we need to put in the law as a requirement for doing business in this state, you must comply with certain reporting requirements–that being one of them,” he said.

An attempt to provide WorkForce West Virginia with an extension beyond July 1 was rejected last week.

“Either ‘A’, grant the extension, which was asked for which they refused,” he said. “Or rewrite the law so that it’s clear.”