The Missouri Senate has passed a House bill that would overhaul the state's prevailing wage for public works projects.
Under current state law, the prevailing wage paid to workers of a certain trade is calculated based on surveys from contractors on a public works project. The bill approved by the Senate Monday night would instead require wage surveys to be split between union and non-union employers, and the prevailing wage would be set by the group that reported more hours of work.
"It looks like it would be a change that would allow some of these counties to get something moving at maybe a little bit lower wage rate in real outstate rural Missouri, where a lot of labor unions aren't interested in going and doing small jobs," said Republican Dan Brown of Rolla, who handled the bill in the Senate.
Opponents contend that scrapping the current system could lead to cut-rate contractors pouring into Missouri from other states.
The bill now goes back to the House, due to some revisions made by the Senate.
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