The next major partisan fight in the state senate is expected this week when the Republican leadership tries to change the prevailing wage law.
The state sets the prevailing wages to be paid people in various crafts on taxpayer-financed projects. Dexter Senator Rob Mayer complains the system used to determine those wages is flawed and too often establishes union negotiated urban wage rates for projects in rural areas. He says that means some public works project employees are paid as much as three times what local workers make on private projects.
Floor leader Tom Dempsey says the legislature needs to balance the system.
Mayer says he’s been discussing his issue with Democrats for about a month, but he says he hasn’t seen the kind of progress he has hoped to see. He knows his bill might be vetoed by Gov. Nixon, but says whether it is or isn’t, the discussion needs to be had.