The Missouri General Assembly has sent Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, legislation that would provide a targeted roll back of the state's prevailing wage.
House Bill 34 would eliminate the prevailing wage in third and fourth-class rural counties, and only for school construction and other public works projects. It was sponsored by State Representative Casey Guernsey. Guernsey is a Republican from Bethany and represents four counties in rural northwest Missouri.
"There hasn't been a school built in my district, aside from one, in my lifetime – I’m 31 years old," Guernsey said. "Every single one of them, and I represent 19 school districts, has significant construction or maintenance projects that (have) to be done."
The bill was passed by the Missouri House Monday and the Missouri Senate last week. It would require wage surveys to be split between union and non-union employers, and the prevailing wage would be set by the group that reported more hours of work.
Labor union groups have fought against several bills this year proposing to either limit or completely scrap the prevailing wage, saying that it could lead to cut-rate contractors flooding into Missouri from other states.
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