Illinois House Testimonies on the Consequences of Repealing Prevailing Wage

On Tuesday, February 27, the Labor and Commerce Committee in the Illinois House held a hearing titled “Impacts of Repealing the Prevailing Wage.” Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI); Robert Bruno, Ph.D., Director of the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois; and Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Colorado State University-Pueblo submitted testimonies.

The following article provides condensed versions of those testimonies.

Continue reading “Illinois House Testimonies on the Consequences of Repealing Prevailing Wage”

Prevailing Wage Encourages Self-Sufficient Workers

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. Taxpayers are subsidizing the low-wage, low-skill, low-quality system in states without a prevailing wage law, according to a report released jointly today by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute and Building Strong Communities. The Policy Brief, Self-Sufficient Construction Workers: Why Prevailing Wage Laws are the Best Deal for Taxpayers [PDF], finds that prevailing wage laws (PWLs) build local middle-class jobs and drive economic development through increased consumer demand. By paying a living wage and supporting apprenticeship training programs, PWLs encourage … Continue reading Prevailing Wage Encourages Self-Sufficient Workers

The CCW is Common Sense Construction

Today, the Midwest Economic Policy Institute released Common Sense Construction: The Economic Impacts of  Indiana’s Common Construction Wage with the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations and Smart Cities Prevail. The report finds that Indiana’s Common Construction Wage (CCW) promotes positive labor market outcomes for both construction workers and contractors. Full report [pdf] One-page summary [pdf] Ten facts about the Indiana CCW: 1. The Common Construction Wage keeps Hoosier jobs local. (For more, see pages 5 and 11-13) 2. The Common Construction Wage does not increase total construction costs for public projects. (Pg. 4) 3. The Common Construction Wage promotes an upwardly-mobile, high-road economy for working families. (Pg. … Continue reading The CCW is Common Sense Construction

Collaborative Development: The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI.


A new ILEPI Policy Brief, released this morning, investigates the pros and cons of public-private partnerships in the construction industry. [Update: The Monitor article].

The report, Collaborative Development: The Pros and Cons of P3s on Construction Projects (PDF), finds that public-private partnerships (P3s)– such as the proposed Illiana Expressway– offer the potential for significant cost savings for the public sector. P3s allow governments to increase internal investment, capitalize on the efficiencies and innovations of private companies, and build infrastructure slightly less expensively and slightly more quickly. For the private sector, P3s provide stable assets (infrastructure facilities) with predictable long-term returns from user fees for portfolio diversification. P3s also allow private entities, backed by the government, to borrow cheaply.

The Policy Brief utilizes case studies to demonstrate how P3s may be mutually beneficial and discusses the expected positive benefits of three potential P3 projects in the Midwest: Continue reading “Collaborative Development: The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships”

@SaveTheWage: Defending Common Construction Wage in Indiana

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) is pleased to announce the launch of @SaveTheWage! The Save The Wage campaign is led by a coalition of organizations committed to defending Indiana’s Common Construction Wage (also called “CCW” or the “prevailing wage”) from unjustified claims and attacks. Supported primarily by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (@IllinoisEPI), Union One (@Union1), and the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, Save The Wage aims to promote education, awareness, and public discussion around the benefits of … Continue reading @SaveTheWage: Defending Common Construction Wage in Indiana

Income Inequality is Fixable in Construction

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. “Today, after four years of economic growth… average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead.” –President Obama in the State of the Union Address, 2014. Across the country, states and localities can respond to the President’s call to action and grow wages, create jobs, and reduce … Continue reading Income Inequality is Fixable in Construction