(Chuck Muth) – Today on The Daly Show: Skip votes for FEWER schools.
In 2015, Republicans in the Nevada Legislature passed a law allowing construction companies for public school projects to pay a free-market wage rather than the mandated union wage (“prevailing wage”).
As columnist Victor Joecks noted, the Nevada Policy Research Institute found that Nevada’s “prevailing wage rates” – arbitrarily set by the state Labor Commission – “are around 45 percent higher than market wages.”
And as a Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial noted, this change meant we could build “five schools for the price of four.”
A GREAT cost-saving benefit to taxpayers.
But that meant nothing to Assemblyman Skip Daly (D) – who moonlights during sessions and in the off-season as head honcho of Laborers Union #169 in Reno.
As such, Daly’s priority is the union members who pay his gold-plated, six-figure annual salary, not Nevada’s taxpayers. In fact, an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal once referred to him as the “go-to guy for organized labor.”
So in 2017 Daly sponsored a bill to repeal the GOP’s fiscally responsible reform law which would, as Mr. Joecks pointed out at the time, “increase government construction costs by mandating that schools pay more for buildings.”
Tray Abney, then with the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, agreed, testifying that the bill “makes it more expensive to build schools.”
Added the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an editorial…
“(I)t’s not about the children at all. It’s all about the money to line the pockets of Democrats’ labor union backers, with taxpayers footing the inflated bill, of course.”
Daly’s bill passed in the Democrat-controlled Legislature but was vetoed by then-Gov. Brian Sandoval (R).
He brought his repeal bill back in 2019. This time it passed and was signed by incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak (D).
Has that resulted in major increases in school construction costs? It certainly appears so.
For example, in 2015 the cost estimate to build a replacement for Hug High School in Reno was $110 million. Today – after Daly’s bill was signed into law – the projection is tagged at $252.72 million!
How much of that $142.72 million boost was due to Daly jacking up the cost by forcing the builder to pay the higher union wage rate instead of the lower market rate on the project?
A good question to ask Washoe County commissioners.
On his website Daly boasts that he “will work with everyone to put the interests of our state ahead of extreme partisanship, and find real solutions to the problems and needs facing our state.”
But when given the choice to side with the interests of his dues-paying union members vs. the interests of the state’s taxpayers…Daly gave taxpayers the shaft.
Coming Up Next on The Daly Show…
Skip Daly sucker punches disabled man at union meeting. Film at eleven.
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Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and founder/owner of The Campaign Doctor. He blogs personally at www.MuthsTruths.com