Prevailing Wage Not Repealed In Missouri

Submitted by Will Buchanan, HesseMartone P.C.

Will Buchanan

There is some confusion in the industry surrounding the state of the Missouri prevailing wage law.  Several news stories and a June 15, 2017 article in the National Law Journal titled “Missouri Repeals Prevailing Wage Law in Government Contracting” have suggested that the prevailing wage was repealed in Missouri.  It was not.

There are a number of different prevailing wage repeal bills pending in the Missouri legislature.   On March 30, 2017, the House passed HB 104, a bill to completely repeal prevailing wage; the Senate took it up but then placed it on its informal calendar and did not pass it.  Other bills pending in the House modify but do not completely repeal prevailing wage; none of these bills has seen any legislative activity since March 2017.

The source of the confusion is SB 182, signed by Governor Greitens on May 30, 2017.  SB 182 “…repeals provisions of the law permitting the state or any political subdivision to enter into a union-only project labor agreement.” (Bill Summary) (Bill Text)  SB 182 extends the state government-level prohibition on entering into union-only project labor agreements to municipal governments, eliminates the requirement that a project be more than 50% publicly funded to be subject to the law, and establishes a private cause of action for persons affected by violations to sue for equitable damages.  However, SB 182 does not repeal or directly modify the Missorui prevailing wage.

The Missouri legislature will begin its next regular session on January 3, 2018.

The prevailing wage is still the law of the land in Missouri.

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