In July 2018, Governor Mike Parson signed HB 1729, a bill that changes part of the state’s prevailing wage law. The bill goes into effect on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.
Under the new law, prevailing wage rates will not be paid on public works projects, such as local jails, schools or courthouses, when the bid or cost is $75,000 or less. Non-exempt projects, however, will continue to require prevailing wage, or the public works contracting minimum wage.
The new rule requires 1,000 or more reportable work hours for a particular job occupation in a given area for prevailing wage to apply.
In addition, the new law exempts public works projects of $10,000 or less from the competitive bidding process. The law also limits on-the-job training to a one-to-one ratio with journeymen on the project, and stipulates the pay rate for workers gaining on the job experience is set at 50 percent of the corresponding journeyman’s wage rate.
The prevailing wage rate was originally meant to unify wage scales for workers working on similar projects within local areas. Some argue the longstanding rule has led to a scale that favors a wage rate more suited for urban sites rather than the average rural area.