Monday, August 19, 2013

New Missouri Law Changes Method for Calculating Prevailing Wages

A new law in Missouri will change how the state calculates prevailing wages on public construction projects.  

Wages to decrease:  House Bill 34 will make the following changes in prevailing wages: 
  • School district exemption:  The bill will "exempt construction and maintenance work done for certain school districts from the prevailing wage rate requirement upon the school board's approval," according to Governor Jay Nixon's office.
  • Calculation by county:  The change will allow prevailing wages to be calculated by county, meaning prevailing wages in rural areas will no longer be driven by wages in the state's metropolitan areas.  State Representative Casey Guernsey, the sponsor of the bill, said that he originally "set out to help rural school districts save thousands in construction and repair costs...No longer will Kansas City and St. Louis union rates determine the cost of public projects in rural Missouri."
  • Calculation with union and non-union rates:  The new law will also use non-union rates, in addition to union rates, in calculating the prevailing wage rates.  
No signature by governor:  The new law was hotly debated in the state, with some arguing that the changes will favor undocumented workers being paid cheap wages in rural counties, at the expense of Missouri residents.  Governor Jay Nixon allowed the bill to go into law without his signature.  Click here for more information.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

No comments: