One of Missouri’s most powerful state representatives says the 2018 legislative session will focus on issues like reining in lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and liability lawsuits. Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, tells Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Columbia that he also wants changes to wage requirements for public construction projects. Passing a “prevailing wage” law for such jobs has been a priority for Republicans for several years.
“I think you can look at a lot of the things that we passed out last year that we were not able to get to the governor’s desk and get signed as kind of a road map to what we’ll work on,” says Haahr.
With the 2017 passage of a Right-to-Work law to ban mandatory union fees in the workplace, a prevailing wage measure is a natural next step for the GOP-controlled legislature.
Haahr could be one of the youngest Speakers of the House in the nation. He takes over the gavel in 2019 and says he’s learning from current speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff.
“The policy you pass may be unpopular, but if the process is fair and above board, people will not always hold against you the policies that have been passed,” says Haahr.
Richardson is term limited and is serving his final year. The Missouri House will formally elect the new Speaker in January 2019.
The 2018 legislative session begins Wednesday.
By Brad Tregnago of Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Columbia