By: Mark A. Rysberg

When the Michigan Senate voted to approve bills repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage laws, the future of those bills became uncertain in the face of a likely veto by the governor. Advocates of repealing wage then turned to a provision of the Michigan Constitution which allows laws to be enacted without being subject to the governor’s veto power. Under that provision, a proposed law may be submitted to the Michigan Legislature by obtaining enough signatures on a petition which proposes enacting a specific law.

One such petition was recently submitted to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage laws. That petition is currently being reviewed by the Michigan Secretary of State. If the Secretary of State verifies that the petition contains enough signatures, the proposed law will be submitted to the Michigan Legislature. The Legislature then has 40 session days to enact the law by simple majority. If the proposed law is not enacted, it will be placed on the ballot for decision in the next general election.

In sum, a proposal to repeal prevailing wage laws in Michigan will likely be submitted to the Legislature. There is no issue of potential veto. Rather, whether Michigan’s prevailing wage laws are repealed will likely depend on whether a simple majority of the Legislature votes to repeal them. While the ultimate resolution of this issue may not occur for some time, there will likely be further develop of this issue before the end of the year.

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