Friday, December 28, 2012

Joplin legislator's bill threatens fine, imprisonment for paying prevailing wage

It's not enough to get rid of the prevailing wage for workers on public construction projects in this state. A new bill prefiled Thursday also threatens to punish those who actually want to pay workers what they are wroth.

HB 98, sponsored by Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, would eliminate prevailing wage in Missouri except for federal projects.

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, contains the following language:

 "Public works", all fixed works constructed for public use or benefit or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds. It also includes any work done directly by any public utility company when performed by it pursuant to the order of the public service commission or other public authority whether or not it be done under public supervision or direction or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds when let to contract by said utility. It does not include any work done for or by any drainage or levee district.            290.342. Except for federally-funded projects and services provided to the federal government, no person in this state shall be paid a prevailing hourly wage.

The bill also appears to penalize anyone who decides to pay workers a decent wage. Since there would no longer be a prevailing wage, it would seem that the only violation of the law that could occur would be if someone actually paid workers what they should be receiving. A new section of the law specifies what would happen if someone decides to increase workers' wages:

(Violators will be) punished for each violation thereof by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day such violation or omission continues shall constitute a separate offense as contemplated by this section.
HB 97,  also sponsored by White and co-sponsored by Burlison, would eliminate prevailing wage for all construction of public housing projects in a disaster area.

That ought to keep those union workers in their place.


Anonymous said...

What is White's background, other than being stupid?

James Lynam said...

Thevsame background as all republicans. Manipulate the middle class pretending to care about theyre religous views and gun laws and then rob them blind.

Anonymous said...

These republican "lawmakers" and thats using the term almost recklessly are a total bunch of jerks. The Missouri House of Unrepresentatives.

Anonymous said...

Typical republican always wanting to depress middle class workers pay but never here them say anything about cutting their pay . As bad a job as they do they should be paid nothing

Anonymous said...

All they want to do is kill the middle class. I barely have enough money now to send my daughter to college so lets kill my wage so I can't afford it at all .Maybe they ought to regulate how much state colleges charge and cut the deans salaries, But I'm sure they are friends so that won't happen. If you don't want to belong to a union then don't. I work as a union carpenter and we compete everyday against the non union companies and do fine. Try doing something that helps the state instead of hurting it.

Anonymous said...

Wait. Doesn't a requirement to pay a "prevailing wage" mean the contractor has to (under government threat of fines and jail) pay workers more than what they could charge if the project wasn't a taxpayer-funded project? I am a middle class person who would like to pay less in taxes so I can spend my own money instead of having the state take it and give it to another middle class person who happens to be a construction worker on a government project. Why am I wrong to want government construction projects to cost the same as private sector construction projects? The commenters here seem to say that all taxpayers should pay more for public projects so the few who work on public construction projects can make more than other construction workers. I should shut up and continue to pay more in taxes for public construction projects so the guy who demands a higher wage than other construction workers can have more to pay for the things he wants? Maybe the state colleges have to charge him more for his daughter's college because they have higher expenses due to prevailing wage laws and union "bargaining" costs.