House panel advances prevailing wage repeal bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill to repeal the state’s 81-year-old Prevailing Wage Act rolled through the House Government Organization Committee Wednesday, after requests for analysis of the bill’s financial impact on the state were rejected.

The bill (HB 4005) advanced to the House floor Wednesday on a party-line 15-9 vote, after Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, ruled against Delegate Isaac Sponaugle’s request for a fiscal note on the measure.

“It would be extreme and reckless of this committee, looking at the thousands of workers and thousands of employers affected by this, to make a decision without that information,” said Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, who twice attempted to invoke House Rule 95a.

That rule requires that any bill that “increases or decreases the revenue or fiscal liability of the state” must have a fiscal note prepared before the bill can considered by any House committee. A fiscal note is an outline prepared by the affected state agencies of the potential financial impact of the proposed legislation.

“We have no idea whatsoever that there’s going to be a savings or a loss, even though that’s how it’s being presented, as a savings to taxpayers…

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