On Tuesday, March 28, the Missouri House of Representatives passed House Bill 104 by a vote of 89-60, initiating action to repeal the state’s prevailing wage requirement for public construction projects. One of 29 states with such a law, Missouri’s Prevailing Wage Law was passed in 1957, establishing the minimum wage rate that must be paid to workers on public works construction projects, such as bridges, roads, schools and government buildings. Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards determines the prevailing wage on an annual basis and provides this rate to public entities in an Annual Wage Order. The prevailing wage rate is dependent upon the category of labor and the locality of the project.
Supporters of the bill believe that the prevailing wage law hurts small business owners, especially in rural areas. However, there appears to be some pushback from the private sector, believing this to be an employers’ issue.
HB 104 was read for the second time and referred to committee on April 3, 2017.