The American Revolution started largely because of tyranny and oppression fostered in the name of a King. Today we have oppression fostered by the school yard bullies in the State Legislature in the form of unfunded mandates upon the municipalities.
Emboldened with a sense of power and self-assurance the legislature has continually piled more unfunded mandates on local budgets requiring taxpayers to fund requirements unsupported by State resources. State Representative (R) Tim Ackert has never been fond of bullies in the school yard and he is not too happy about the unfunded State mandates.
The State has mandated a “prevailing wage” be paid on municipal projects which has discouraged some contractors from bidding on work and requires taxpayers to pay more for the work than would be paid for the same labor on another job. This creates an artificial market with limited competition and hence unnecessarily increases add to the cost of construction projects paid for with local tax funds.
Representative Ackert is taking action calling for some changes. He has propose two measures, the first being HB-5962, An Act Concerning State Contributions To Municipalities And The Prevailing Wage. The proposal would exempt municipalities from the prevailing wage laws unless the state contributes twenty-five per cent or more of the total cost of the municipal project.
While a better solution would be to remove the mandate or at least require the State to fund more than half, this is a first step in the right direction. The reality is with so many Democratic Legislators beholden to the special interest of union labor even this small step would be a huge win for the taxpayers of Connecticut.
The second proposal being offered by Rep. Tim Ackert is, An Act Increasing The Prevailing Wage Threshold known as HB-5964. This proposal would increase the threshold amount for construction projects to require prevailing wage to five million dollars for new construction and on million for remodeling. The current requirements call for $400,000 and $100,000 respectively.
Once again Ackert is stepping in the right direction attempting to find an island of common ground with recalcitrant Representatives willing to put the wants of a special interest above the welfare of the taxpayers. Finding an island of commonality however, could prove to be more difficult than holding back high tide on Long Island Sound.
Doing the right thing for your constituents can be difficult when facing a political majority willing to protect their political supporters with public tax dollars. When a majority of our legislators are will to openly and proudly destroy an open and free market while instituting higher taxes to pay for prevailing wages and unfunded mandates they are not serving their constituents they are oppressing them.
These two proposals like the Boston Tea Party of 1773 are sending a message; it is time to fight back in the name of the taxpayers. If he keeps marching in this direction Mr. Ackert could become known as “Tea Party Tim”.