Legislation opposed by unions is being pushed again by Republican lawmakers in Missouri, and the latest efforts are targeting the state’s prevailing wage.
Four bills currently being considered by a Senate committee would either scale back or eliminate the prevailing wage law, which requires non-union workers to be paid the same amount of money as union members on public works projects.
State Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, sponsors one of the bills that would end prevailing wage. He told the senate’s general laws committee the prevailing wage is too high for many rural towns and counties that need to build new facilities or maintain existing ones.
Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, is sponsoring a near-identical bill.
Two other bills heard Wednesday would limit the prevailing wage rate and scale back its use. Senate Bill 599 is sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, and Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, is sponsoring SB 688.
Opponents argue that eliminating the prevailing wage could result in subpar workers being hired on for public works projects. Mike Louis of the Missouri AFL-CIO told the committee the prevailing wage law helps boost the skills of non-union workers.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio