Associated Press Published

On Right-to-Work, Other Issues, W.Va. GOP May Overturn Vetoes


With legislative session set to begin Wednesday, Republican lawmakers are pushing to make two issues an early priority: making West Virginia a right-to-work state and repealing the prevailing wage for public construction projects.

Republican Senate President Bill Cole said lawmakers will make right to work and a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage top priorities early in the 2016 session.

Prevailing wage is the average hourly wage and benefits paid to an employee working on a state construction project. Republican leaders attempted to repeal the wage in 2015, but settled on a bill to recalculate the rate.

Right-to-work laws prohibit union worksites from requiring membership by employees.

Cole says the two issues will be taken up early in order to leave time in the 60-day session to overturn a possible veto by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

In West Virginia, a simple majority vote in both chambers is needed to override a gubernatorial veto, unlike most states which require a two-thirds majority.