Opponents of Republican efforts to find a new way to pay workers on taxpayer-financed public works projects have driven the proposal to the side lines again.
Senate Democratic leader Victor Callahan of Independence, who has helped keep the prevailing wage bill from coming to a vote in the senate, says the bill “is not reflective of any of the negotiations we have had with the interested parties<‘ meaning contractors and others involved in public works projects. .
Sponsor Rob Mayer complains too many workers on outstate taxpayer-financed projects are paid big-city union wages. He says the state labor department system of setting workers wages for those projects should be thrown out in favor of a system that would pay lower salaries in many counties. He says the lower salaries would be more appropriate in areas that have a lower standard of living. .
Opponents’ stalling tactics have him ready to offer a compromise bill but he knows he’s running out of time “We need to either pass it or we need to set it aside,” he says.
That would not bother opponent Tim Green, who says there are more important public policy issues to be discussed in the waning days of this session-educational reform, energy policy, and controlling Medicaid costs among them. -.
Mayer has not said if he’d use a rarely-used motion to stop debate by opponents and force a vote on his bill.
Highlights of Senate debate:
AUDIO: Another debate excerpt 38:52