Tim Skubick: Prevailing wage law next on Republican agenda? - KMSP-TV

Tim Skubick: Prevailing wage law next on Republican agenda?

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Here we go again.

Other than the title "governor," Jennifer Granholm and Rick Snyder have very little in common.  Save for one thing.

During her tenure Ms. Granholm had a pet phrase that she endlessly trotted out each time she was fixing' to jettison one of her cabinet members.

The first time it happened, the newly minted governor was quietly working to ditch her reportedly inept welfare director Nanette Bowler.

As word leaked, some enterprising reporter asked the governor if she still supported Ms. Bowler.

"She is a valuable member of the cabinet," the governor dodged the direct question with an answer that looked sort of like Ms. Bowler might not be in trouble.

Wrong.

Within weeks the "valuable member" was ushered out of the door no gold watch or nothing.

It wasn't long before other cabinet members got in Dutch and before they were shown the door, the governor again noted they too were "valuable members of my cabinet" only to be ousted there after.

Pretty soon the "valuable" designation became not only a joke and meaningless, but when applied to anyone who worked fro her, it was the sure kiss of death.

Enter Gov. Rick Snyder who spent over two years applying his term, "not on my agenda" to the Right to Work issue and others.  When he placed it on the agenda and eventually signed the bill, he had his Granholm inoperative phrase to dog him for the rest of his tenure.

And here we go again.

Anti-labor forces in the governor's beloved Republican party in the House, still apparently blood-thirsty for yet another ugly confrontation with union bosses, want to eliminate the state's prevailing wage law.

The law helps to secure higher wages for workers but some R's believe businesses could make more money and the state would be more competitive if lower wages could be negotiated.

So some smarty-pants reporter asked the governor if the repeal was on his agenda?

Ever see a governor squirm?

He's got to be thinking to himself, "I sure as heck cannot say its not on my agenda, cause that's outlived its usefulness and would send a clear signal to labor that we're headed for another showdown."

Instead he ad libed a new line, "I would say it's not something that we're working on."  O.K. it's just a sandwich away from "not on my agenda" but it got him through the moment.

Organized labor was not amused nor deterred.

Many don't trust this governor and even though he called the new issue "divisive", that's the same verbiage he used to describe RTW.

Here we go again.

Look for labor to demand that the governor announce in public and maybe even in writing that he would veto such a bill if it got to his desk.

Given that chance last week, he demurred.

But labor advocate and potential Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer is demanding the governor do it or else?

Or else Democrats might not put up any votes for the governor's grandioso and expensive transportation package, let alone his effort to include uninsured needy families in the Medicaid program.

Never mind that Democrats support both of those, they are not likely to budge until he does first on prevailing wage.

Just like nobody believed Gov. Granholm when she uttered, "valuable member of her cabinet."  Labor won't fall a second time for "something that we're not working on."  What's the old line about "fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice and shame on me."

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