The Missouri House has passed legislation that would allow some school districts to exempt themselves from the prevailing wage requirement for construction and maintenance projects.
The sponsor, Republican Casey Guernsey of Harrison County, says it will allow rural schools in particular to be able to afford much-needed expansions and upgrades.
“There are many businesses out there ready, willing and able to perform these jobs, these construction jobs and these maintenance jobs, and they’re also the ones that are paying for the taxes that run those school districts, and it’s only fair that we allow them to participate.”
Democrats argued that waiving the prevailing wage requirement could lead to cut-rate contractors from other states taking jobs away from skilled workers in Missouri.
Labor union interests have strongly opposed the bill, which now moves to the Missouri Senate.