For Immediate Release: Bill Cole Laughs In The Face of WV Workers

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For Immediate Release:

September 8, 2015

Contact: Brittni McGuire,, 304-342-8121

Bill Cole Laughs In The Face Of WV Workers

In a radio interview, Cole doubled down on push to eliminate prevailing wage

CHARLESTON, WV— Today, on the Mike Queen radio show, state Senator Bill Cole was asked about major issues facing West Virginia workers, like the rollback of prevailing wage standards, and his response: laughter.

When asked about his support for eliminating the prevailing wage law in West Virginia, Senator Cole started laughing and then mostly dodged the question. Cole could not defend his efforts to slash wages for West Virginia workers.

Listen to audio of the exchange here.

“Lower wages might be a joke for politicians like Senator Cole, but for West Virginia workers, prevailing wage is no laughing matter,” said Brittni McGuire, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Democratic Party. “It’s not surprising Senator Cole wants to double down on his reckless agenda that hurts working families, but now he is openly laughing about driving down wages for West Virginians.”


Cole Laughed when Accused of Hurting Hard Working West Virginians

During a 9/08/15 airing of the Michael Queen Show, Cole laughed when accused of hurting West Virginia’s working families:

QUEEN: Senator Cole, I have an e-mail from Kenny Perdue who is the AFL-CIO President. He says that your legislative agenda this past legislative session lowered the quality of life for working families. Your legislation will lead to cutting working people’s wages, reducing working compensation benefits, and scaling back critical coal mine safety laws. What say you?

COLE: Laughter. Well I’m happy to address that. I don’t mean to laugh. Those are serious allegations […] But let me give you late breaking news, first of all. We were just talking about the Iran deal in the last segment. And, apparently our conversation moved Senator Manchin to announce just a minute ago that he was opposing the deal.

[Mike Queen Show, 9/08/15]


Cole Supported “Outright Repeal” of Prevailing Wage Law

On 2/12/15, the Charleston Daily Mail noted that Cole “supported an outright repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law.” [Charleston Daily Mail, 2/12/15]

Study Finds Prevailing Wage Repeal would Lead to Lower Wages

In January 2015, the University of Missouri Kansas City’s economics department released a report regarding the adverse effects brought about by repealing West Virginia’s prevailing wage.

According to the January 2015 report, repealing West Virginia’s prevailing wage would lead to lower wages for all of West Virginia’s construction workers.

Specifically, the study stated that a prevailing wage repeal would “[l]ower wages for all construction workers in West Virginia (direct impact of repeal in West Virginia) and reduced incomes for other workers in industries located in West Virginia (the indirect, or induced, impact of repeal.)” [The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia, January 2015]

Repeal of Prevailing Wage Costs Between $51 and $77 Million in Lost Income

The January 15 report by the University of Missouri Kansas City noted that repealing prevailing wage would “cost the residents of West Virginia and their families between $51.30 million and $77.28 million annually in lost income.” [The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia, January 2015]