House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. released the following statement after the Democratically-controlled House overwhelmingly rejected an effort to suspend the state’s prevailing wage during projects funded by federals stimulus money.
Today, my colleagues and I laid out a cost savings measure that would have allowed the state of Massachusetts to get more bang for its buck as the Commonwealth prepares to launch several federally funded projects. Our effort did not even garner one Democrat’s support and unfortunately we were unable to have a meaningful debate on the matter and thus no roll call vote was taken.
Prevailing wage tends to be a hot button issue on Beacon Hill. Our amendment would have allowed the state and companies to pay employees the federal prevailing wage rate which is significantly lower than the state’s. The fact that not one Democrat stood up in support of allowing a vote proves that the Majority Party is only in favor of reform when it is convenient for its members.
A real opportunity was missed today and now the state runs the risk of wasting limited resources. Reducing the prevailing wage would have allowed the state to hire more workers and get people back into a job market that is depressing to say the least. I am disappointed and dismayed by the continuous rejection of meaningful reform on Beacon Hill. I am now calling on Governor Patrick to support this proposal and join us in making sure the stimulus funds are used in the most responsible and efficient manner possible.