Prevailing Wage Law Repeal Update for School Districts

2015 Wisconsin Act 55 (the budget bill) repealed the state prevailing wage law for school districts and other local governmental units (villages, towns, cities) effective January 1, 2017.  However, if a local governmental unit:

  • issues a Request for Bids before January 1, 2017, for a project of public works that is subject to bidding or,
  • enters into a contract before January 1, 2017, for a project of public works that is not subject to bidding,

those public works projects are subject to the current (“old”) prevailing wage law (§66.0903, Wis. Stats.) through the life of the project.  Projects of public works with prevailing wage project determinations issued prior to 2017 continue to be subject to the current prevailing wage law through the life of the project even though the project may have work going on in 2017 or subsequent years.

For school districts this means that, while a school referendum may be approved in 2016, if the Request for Bids is not issued until 2017, or if the project is not subject to bidding, the contract is not entered into until 2017, then prevailing wage would not apply to the project.

It is also important to note that even though STATE prevailing wage for local governmental units is repealed in 2017 (as explained above), the FEDERAL Davis-Bacon Act will continue to apply to local governmental unit projects that receive federal funding.

Read More: Department of Workforce Development