Vets warn eliminating prevailing wage will cost jobs

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The American Legion is warning Republicans that eliminating the prevailing wage on state projects could cost hundreds of veterans their jobs in the construction industry.

The prevailing wage law sets minimum salaries for construction workers on public projects. Republican Gov. Scott Walker has proposed wiping out the prevailing wage for state projects in the state budget. The Legislature wiped out prevailing wage for local government projects in 2015.

Wisconsin American Legion Adjutant David Kurtz held a news conference in the state Capitol flanked by veterans on Wednesday. He said veterans often turn to construction and eliminating prevailing wage could cost hundreds of them their jobs.

Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said ending prevailing wage would lower project costs, allowing the state to invest in job-creation programs to help everyone, including veterans.

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