published Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Prevailing wage law in Tennessee rescinded as of Jan. 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As of Jan. 1, most government building projects in Tennessee no longer have to pay the prevailing wage.

WPLN-FM reports Tennessee's prevailing wage law was in place for nearly four decades before the General Assembly voted to repeal it last year. The idea behind the law was to make sure every electrician or plumber hired on a government-funded project got paid the going rate.

Sen. Jack Johnson, a Franklin Republican, sponsored the repeal. He said the law stifled competition and made building projects too expensive.

With the change, local governments can still choose to have contractors pay a wage that's roughly average, but they don't have to.

The prevailing wage still has to be paid on highway projects in order for the state to receive federal highway funds.

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