DUE TO HEAVY SNOWS IN WESTERN KENTUCKY...WIDESPREAD 6 TO 12 INCH SNOWFALL AMOUNTS HAVE HAULTED AREA TRAVEL. ISOLATED 15 INCH AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. DRIFTS UP TO A FOOT AND A HALF HAVE ALSO BEEN REPORTED. THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM SITUATION AND TRAVEL SHOULD BE AVOIDED IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. (National Weather Service)

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 on social media.

springhour
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 9484

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 8891

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 6476

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 03, 2015 5767

Three Arrested during Traffic Stop

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 4460

Local Man Makes Unique Display from Area’s…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 05, 2015 4153

State of Emergency Declared for Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Leslie Curneal

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 16, 2015

UPDATE: State of Emergency Declared for Kentucky

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Stories Trending Today

March 05, 2015 4153

State of Emergency Declared for Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Leslie Curneal
March 05, 2015 3585

UPDATE: I-24 Open Between 50-45 MM

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd
March 03, 2015 2790

Superintendent: Spring Break Won't be Touched…

in Hopkins News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 05, 2015 1990

Deep Snowfall Stalls Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 1977

Highway Crews Dealing with Landsides in…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Keith Todd
March 04, 2015 1736

KSP Warns of Old Scam Resurfacing in the Post 2…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
March 04, 2015 1495

Adamson Chosen as Madisonville MSU Campus’…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 1477

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 4, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 04, 2015 1429

Muhlenberg County Educator Inducted into Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by WKU News
March 05, 2015 1267

Muhlenberg Issues State of Emergency Under…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News