Remodeling Kentucky’s Prevailing-Wage Policy

Kentucky’s prevailing-wage law is a good deal for construction workers on state and local government projects. But it’s a bad deal for taxpayers. The statute defines the prevailing wage as the hourly amount, including base pay and fringe benefits, received by a majority of workers in the area where public projects, including schools, are being built. However, a lack of sufficient data that accurately reflects local communities’ wages, along with methods used by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to determine prevailing-wage rates, result in artificially high pay scales that add millions of dollars to public-construction costs.

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