Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signs bill restoring prevailing wages
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday signed legislation repealing changes made by the Republican dominated 2015 Legislature that weakened Nevada’s prevailing wage laws.
The GOP raised the threshold for projects to require contractors pay prevailing wage from $100,000 to $250,000. They also directed the Labor Commissioner to set prevailing wages for public school and higher education construction projects at 90 percent of what would be required for other public works projects.
AB136 repeals both of those changes, restoring the law to what it was before 2015.
In addition, he signed SB231 which repealed language basically prohibiting contractors and subcontractors from entering into or adhering to any agreement with labor organizations when working on public projects. SB231 eliminates language that strongly discouraged public bodies from hiring contractors who have agreements with unions and prohibits public bodies from awarding grants, tax abatements credits or exemptions to contractors that enter agreements with labor organizations.
Sisolak said he was keeping his campaign promise to “return prevailing wage to public construction projects.”
He said that will help guarantee public construction projects are built by highly qualified workers and increase competition among those contractors.
“Kids deserve to learn and grow in well-constructed schools,” he said.
He said the new laws are important in Nevada which he described as “a union state built from the ground up by hard working men and women of labor.”
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson also said the laws are a reflection of the fact Nevada is a union state.
He said the 2015 changes caused unintended consequences including damage to the diversity of apprenticeship programs.
Sen. Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas, said SB231, “restores the ability of a public body to entire into contract labor agreements.”
About 30 union officials and labor union supporters attended the bill signings in the Old Assembly Chambers on the second floor of the Capitol.