Thursday, January 29, 2015
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

gavel1 300MADISONVILLE (10/20/13) — In August, SurfKY published a letter to the editor written by Dr. William F. Smith, a Madisonville dermatologist and former member of the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library Board of Trustee.

Smith called into question what some have referred to as, "Kentucky's antiquated prevailing wage laws," which resulted in the library system being charged more than $97,000 in rates after an investigation by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet's Employment Standards Division into construction work at the library's East Center Street building.

Kentucky law (KRS 337.505 to 337.550) requires that public projects with an estimated cost of $250,000 or more pay construction workers the prevailing wage of the region in which the project is being built.

Smith questioned the basis of the prevailing wage law by its own control group foundation. In his letter, he alleged that determining wage data is collected and assessed at voluntary public hearings. The wage rates are established when 51 percent of the participating contractors are paid the same wage. "The majority of participants in these hearings are organized union workers, so the wage determinations consistently default to union wages, despite the fact that union workers comprise only a small minority of the work force," he wrote.

Dave Adkisson, president of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, offered the chamber's view on prevailing wage versus economic growth in an opinion piece recently shared with SurfKY.

Adkisson states the Labor Cabinet's method of determining prevailing wage does not reflect local construction wage. It is instead, "an inflated union wage," wrote Adkisson.

"The Kentucky Chamber strongly urges the General Assembly to repeal the state's prevailing wage law as it drafts the 2014-1016 budget," wrote Adkisson. "This move would save taxpayers millions of dollars every year; money that would be far better spent meeting the critical needs of our citizens especially educating our children."

Adkisson referred to a Legislative Research Commission report that concludes that labor costs are increased 17 to 24 percent per project due to the prevailing wage law, which affects projects like roads, school construction and renovation, bridges and public water and sewer construction.

Adkisson also called for Gov. Steve Beshear and members of the state legislature to "bring Kentucky's financial house in order," as preparations are being made for the state's 2014-2016 budget during the 2014 General Assembly, and, "to modernize the prevailing wage law by enacting recommendations from the LRS study ensuring prevailing wages established in a local community represent actual local wages."

Rita Smith Dukes
SurfKy News

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Kentucky 351/Zion Road Safety Project Work Starts Feb. 2

KENTUCKY (1/28/15) — Construction on a project to improve the alignment of two curves along Kentucky 351/Zion Road in… Read More

Owensboro Falls to Lady Maroons, 46-40

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/28/15) — Junior guard/forward Adarian Gray scored 21 points and Shyia Foster, a junior guard,… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 15983

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 9853

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 6735

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 6614

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 23, 2015 6064

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 28, 2015 5772

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 23, 2015 4838

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 4458

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 21670

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 21413

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 28, 2015 15983

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 5772

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 28, 2015 3675

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 2457

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 28, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 2292

Whitfield Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 28, 2015 2009

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1981

UPDATE - Students Have until Jan. 31 to Enter…

in General News For All Sites by James R. Comer
January 28, 2015 1702

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 28, 2015 1312

Old City Hall Space to be 'First United Bank…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 1241

Kentucky Lottery Results for Tuesday Jan. 27, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Kentucky Lottery
January 28, 2015 1237

Letter to the Editor - Month of Mentors

in Hopkins News by Mallory D. Johnson
January 28, 2015 1105

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - January 28, 2015

in Video by Crime Stoppers