Monday, March 22, 2010

Ruestman explains School Construction Act

In her latest Ruestman Report, Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, explains her School Construction Act:

This week the Missouri House of Representatives goes to work on the budget bills. We are making every effort to find the least painful cuts in order to balance the budget. The Republican majority is still maintaining its struggle to fully fund the education formula. The price has not been determined yet, but there will be programs affected. Your local counties, municipalities and school districts have found themselves with a shortage as well. We must all have consideration for each other.

This year, I am once again sponsoring the School Construction Act. This is a bill to lower the cost of labor on school construction, remodeling and maintenance. This could save you, the taxpayer, up to 25% on much-needed new school buildings. It allows local school boards to opt out of the prevailing wage requirement which inflates wages significantly above the local rate.

The fiscal note provided for the bill estimates that it could save the state between $600 million and $1 billion. I remind you that these are YOUR TAX DOLLARS. You could certainly spend that money yourself rather than paying it toward an inflated cost of new schools. If we are able to get a public building using less taxpayer money, why wouldn’t we? Quality is not jeopardized because the same architect serves as an inspector for the job no matter what the cost or who provides the labor.

Last week this bill, House Bill 1960, passed out of the House Workforce Development Committee. It is now headed to the Rules Committee for final clearance before heading to the Floor for debate. I’ll be busy building a solid coalition to support schools.

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