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Prevailing Wage Exemption For Maintenance Projects Likely Dead Following Mo. Senate Filibuster

Missouri Capitol Building.

It appears that Democrats in the Missouri Senate have successfully stopped legislation that would have redefined what constitutes a maintenance project and exempted those being done on public property from the state's prevailing wage requirement.

House Bill 409 would define "maintenance" as being routine and recurring work that does not exceed $75,000.  Democrats spent most of Monday night blocking the bill.  When it became apparent that an agreement was out of reach, State Senator Mike Parson (R, Bolivar) asked that the bill be laid aside, but not before telling Senator Gina Walsh (D, North County) that the issue is not going away.

"A lot of people are pretty serious about this issue," Parson told Walsh.  She replied, "I am, too, Senator."  Parson continued:  "This could become a priority in the future for us."  Walsh said, "I understand that it's a priority right now."

Parson later said, "down the road we'll live to fight another day," then he asked that the measure be laid on the Senate's informal calendar.  Unless there's a breakthrough, the bill will likely remain there and effectively "die" when the 2013 session ends on Friday.

Under current law, "maintenance" work is not subject to the state's prevailing wage rules.   But a 2011 Missouri Supreme Court decision expanded the definition of "construction," causing more projects to be subject to the wage requirement.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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