Campaign to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law raises $1 million

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:04 am
Backers of a petition drive that seeks to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law has raised over $1 million so far, according to recently filed campaign finance records, with the largest support coming from a group tied to the conservative DeVos family.

The state's half-century old prevailing wage law mandates that contractors pay union wages and benefits to construction projects supported by state tax dollars. Under the petition being pushed by the group Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, the law would be repealed.

The group needs to collect about 253,000 signatures, which would then require the state legislature to vote on whether to keep the law intact. It's a similar method that proponents used in 2013 to enact Michigan's controversial "rape insurance" law. If Protecting Michigan Taxpayers (PMF) collects enough valid signatures by November, and the Legislature doesn't vote on the petition, it would then be placed on a statewide ballot in an upcoming election. If the legislature approves the petition, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder couldn't issue a veto.

PMF's biggest supporter was the Michigan Freedom Fund, which contributed $372,000 to the group, campaign finance records filed Monday with the Michigan Secretary of State show. The Freedom Fund is operated by a member of the DeVos faimly.  Crain's Detroit Business first reported on the finance records Monday.