Republicans learn the pitfalls of compromise

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Compromises are tricky things. Sometimes they work out beautifully for all involved, breaking stalemates and allowing opposing parties to make concessions to their mutual benefit.

And sometimes, compromises don’t work out as advertised, leading one or both sides to regret that their core positions have been, well … compromised.

During the legislative session earlier this year, Republicans sought to repeal West Virginia’s prevailing wage law, which sets construction wages for work on publicly funded projects.

Democrats and unions protested, and after much debate, Republicans agreed to a compromise bill. They kept the prevailing wage system in place, but they insisted that the methodology used to calculate it be changed.

Most importantly, federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data would take the place of in-state occupational wage questionnaires, which have notoriously low response rates and many believe are slanted toward inflated, unrealistic wages.

The methodology presented to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance earlier this month by WorkForce West Virginia, which was made available only as a summary, appears to rely almost exclusively on questionnaire responses, with scant details on how BLS data will be used, and no assurance it will be used at all.

Republicans are crying foul...

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