Despite attack ads, Senate moves closer to repealing common construction wage

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 7, 2015) - You’ve seen the attack ads on TV, over the next big fight captivating the capitol, over repealing the state’s common construction wage law. On Tuesday, a repeal came one step closer to becoming law.

Senate republicans patted themselves on the back Tuesday for passing a common construction wage repeal that they say should have mass appeal. You wouldn’t know it though by watching the attack ad commercials, consuming Indiana televisions.

It’s an all-out blitz with pro-construction union organizations bashing the potential repeal of Indiana’s common construction wage law.

“Some politicians who think discrimination is our way, think attacking the pay of construction workers is too,” said one ad sponsored by the Indiana laborers’ council, likening the repeal to the recent religious freedom controversy.

Republicans though, aren’t buying it.

“It’s time to take care of the other state’s business and move forward. Indiana’s a good state, with good people that don’t want to discriminate,” said State Sen. Luke Kenley (R – Noblesville).

“We created the system, it’s not working to it’s optimum efficiency, not only for the businesses involved but for the taxpayer as well,” said State Sen. Brandt Hershman (R – Buck Creek).

Hershman Chairs the Senate’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. He passed the repeal out of his hearing Tuesday with a vote of 8 to 5.

The bill was amended he says to guarantee a level playing field for competition among all construction companies and not force tax payers to pay for wages they feel may be too high.

“Our ultimate goal here is to modify the system in such a way that we have good competition, that jobs are preserved, that fair wages are preserved, and that none of the negative assertions that have been made about the bill come to pass in terms of out of state competition, or rather, inappropriate out of state competition,” said Hershman.

But surrounding states are already looking to cash in. Illinois Governor, Republican Bruce Rauner said Monday in an interview with the Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune, that he wants to “rip the economic guts out of Indiana,” just what opponents of the repeal claim will happen.

“It allows out of state contractors to come in and make a run for local work. So they find it just as discriminatory to Indiana contractors and Indiana businesses and workers as some people do RFRA to the LGBT community,” said Pete Rimsans, the Executive Director of the Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council.

Governor Mike Pence has said that he fully supports a repeal. It will have to pass the full house and senate before it heads to his desk. It could face some opposition in the senate though, where some republican lawmakers have said that they are not in support.

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