Kane County forest commissioners rerun prevailing wage vote from county

In a rerun of month-old Kane County political drama, Kane County Forest Preserve District commissioners are poised for a less-heated battle over the prevailing wage law.

Drew Frasz led a contingent of Republican county board members in a symbolic act that garnered six "no" votes against the prevailing wage last month. The majority of the county board voted in favor of adopting Illinois' prevailing wage, as required by law.

That same vote is set to play out again, only this time with county board members wearing their forest preserve commissioner hats. Frasz, knowing the outcome, said he won't make as big of a push against the prevailing wage at the forest preserve district.

"I'm not going to repeat everything I said at the county," Frasz said. "I know for a fact that we're not following the true letter of the law of the prevailing wage because we are using the union scale. This law is ripe for reform. A lot of states have done away with it."

Eighteen states do not have prevailing wage laws, including neighboring Iowa. There is no penalty in Illinois for rejecting the prevailing wage in a local vote. However, not paying workers on government projects the prevailing wage would be a Class A misdemeanor.

Democrats, who unanimously supported the prevailing wage law at the county, did not speak in objection to Frasz' statements Friday. But they did all vote to keep the prevailing wage in place at the forest preserve district. Frasz only garnered one vote in support of his opposition Friday. That came from fellow Republican T.R. Smith, who was also one of the six people who voted against the prevailing wage during the county vote last month.

The full forest preserve commission will vote on the issue Tuesday.

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