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Senate approves construction wage repeal

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The State Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the law that creates the state’s common construction wage. It’s a victory for the governor and for GOP leaders in the General Assembly.

Opponents call it a defeat for the middle class.

They believe it will reduce construction costs on public projects but even some Republicans have doubts.

The 27-22 vote in the state Senate was close and opponents of the wage repeal supplied most of the debate as GOP leader David Long worked to keep supporters on board.

“This is payback, payback for all those groups who support a national agenda to do this,” said Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage).

The big rally against bill on Monday attracted thousands of union workers but failed to affect the outcome, even though supporters had trouble making a compelling case for the repeal.

“I don’t think anything’s gonna change,” said Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis.)

And some of the most outspoken opponents were Republicans, including Vaneta Becker of Evansville who said, “It will do nothing to cut cost.”

12 Republicans and all of the Democrats voted against the repeal.

“I do not think that this is good for middle class Indiana,” said Becker.

It’s the latest example of how the GOP is taking advantage of super majorities in the General Assembly.

Look for the House to agree with changes made to the bill by the Senate. That means it should get to the governor’s desk before the end of the week.

For the middle class workers who were at the Statehouse on Monday, it becomes a campaign issue in 2016.