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Missouri House Votes to Repeal Prevailing Wage

March 28, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—The Republican-controlled Missouri House voted 89-63 to repeal the state’s prevailing-wage law Mar. 13. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Justus (R-Branson), would instead require contractors on public-works projects to pay the state minimum wage. Justus didn’t disagree when Rep. Doug Beck (D-Affton), a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562, said the bill “will push the wages down in this state if you are a construction worker.” “It actually does bring the wages down,” Justus said during debate. “I’m not going to back away from that. It brings the wages down because the wages are inflated to a point that they are too high. They cost the communities. They cost the counties.” Rep. Kevin Engler of Farmington, one of 20 Republicans who voted against the bill, predicted that “it’s not going to pass the Senate.” A similar measure passed by the House last year died in the Senate. The House also defeated an amendment intended to protect equal pay for female workers. Read more

March 28, 2018

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