The state House finally passed a transportation bill yesterday after failing to do so Monday. On a re-vote a bipartisan group of lawmakers narrowly passed a bill which isn’t perfect but which is critically needed. The legislation now returns to the Senate which already passed a similar bill earlier in the year.
This bill raises the gas tax by 28 cents/gallon over five years which is steep but we must pay for the roads, bridges and transit somehow. We do need to find new and more innovative methods of funding transportation as vehicles get more fuel efficient and we gradually rely less and less on fossil fuels.
The prevailing wage didn’t belong in this bill and it made it far more difficult to pass. The bill raises the threshold for triggering the living wages from $25,000 to $100,000. The limit hadn’t been raised since 1961 so it was due for review. Let’s just remind Republicans how important considering cost of living increases is when the minimum wage bill comes before them for a vote.
The new threshold for the prevailing wage won’t, in my opinion, have much of an impact. I don’t think there are many transportation projects which cost under $100,000. The prevailing wage means non-union workers get paid equivalent wages as their union brothers. This illustrates the failure of right to work laws in which freeloaders can piggyback on unions for similar wages, benefits and job conditions without paying for them.
I always thought conservatives hated freeloaders so why do they support right to work for less?