Gov. Mike Parson has approved a plan to change Missouri’s prevailing wage law, which dictates how wages are calculated on public construction projects.
Under the current law, local governments must pay a set wage that’s above the state minimum for certain maintenance and construction jobs. That wage varies by county.
The new law, which the Republican Parson signed Friday, only affects projects worth $75,000 or more. It calls for observing a prevailing wage only when there are 1,000 reportable hours of pay for a particular occupation in a given locality.
Backers of the bill, including its sponsor, Rep. Jeff Justus-R, Branson, say it will lower the cost of public projects in smaller and rural communities. They argue the old law led to pay that was skewed by wages in the state’s urban areas.
Opponents of the bill say the prevailing wage law means better workers are hired for public projects.