Bill seeks to eliminate prevailing wage law for public works projects

Legislation being considered by a Missouri House committee would dump the state’s prevailing wage for public works projects.

This base wage is set annually for a variety of jobs. It is calculated using what workers are actually earning. House Bill 1931’s sponsor, Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, says it would allow contractors to start negotiations for salaries at minimum wage instead.

Committee on Workforce Standards member Jon Carpenter, D-Gladstone, argued that states without a prevailing wage are among the country’s poorest and least educated. Adam McBride with the Missouri Labor District Council also supports Missouri’s prevailing wage law and opposes Love’s bill to scrap it, testifying that competition should come from overhead and profit, not from “how low you can pay your employees.”

No action was taken on the bill on Monday.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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