Opponents of changes to the state prevailing wage law call the proposed changes inadequate, unfair, and unrealistic to the people who do the work.
Critics of the present system used to determine how much each craftsman is paid on taxpayer-supported building and repair projects say unions have too much say in establishing wages, which drives up costs and limits the number of projects that can be done.
Sponsor Rob Mayer wants to scrap the current system and use the federal bureau of labor statistics occupational employment wage surveys of each county. He says that will allow prevailing wages to more closely reflect the median county wage. But opponent Victor Callahan of Independence tells fellow senator Ryan McKenna that system is hardly fair.
Callahan says it’s a myth that suspending the prevailing wage in disaster areas will save money and allow more projects to be done. He says contractors who don’t have to pay workers as much will just pocket the extra money, not leave it to pay for other projects. Callahan and other opponents have kept the bill from coming to a vote.