Even after Peter Kinder couldn't even get a second for his attack on working families at last week's Missouri Housing Development Commission hearing, some radical legislators in the Missouri House have decided that they will try to outright eliminate Missouri's prevailing wage.
If these right-wing legislators have their way, Missouri will no longer have a prevailing wage - at all, an attack that goes even further than Kinder's original proposal. Rep. Bill White (R-Joplin) has introduced legislation that is being cosponsored by none other than Secretary of State wannabe Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-Willard). Additionally, Rep. Mike Kelley (R-Lamar), Rep. Rodney Schad (R-Versailles) and Rep. Charlie Davis (R-Webb City) have agreed to cosponsor this egregious attack on working families and their own constituents.
The prevailing wage protects communities and workers from unscrupulous contractors low-balling bids on taxpayer-funded construction projects by setting wage rates to the local or prevailing standard, but Rep. White, Rep. Schoeller, Rep. Kelley, Rep. Schad, and Rep. Davis would obviously rather use the Joplin tornado and it's tragic aftermath as a pawn in an effort to pad the pockets of rich developers at the expense of workers' paychecks.
Previously, Rep. White has focused on the profits that developers would lose if Missouri keeps the prevailing wage, completely deaf to the fact that by eliminating the prevailing wage, you slash workers' paychecks. Workers who will spend their pay in Joplin, stimulating the local economy and helping their community recover. White's own words:
It should be noted that Rep. White's and Rep. Davis' own districts encompass a large swath of Joplin which was destroyed in this past summer's F5 tornado, and a significant number of their constituents have no doubt been hit hard by an economy that has been doubly hit by the recession as well as a natural disaster.
I'll reiterate what has been written previously, that if these heartless lawmakers were truly concerned with putting Joplin back together again, they'd stand opposed to any effort against the prevailing wage. Unfortunately, it's obvious these radical legislators are more focused on ensuring that the rich can continue to profit, even at the expense of working families trying to rebuild their devastated community.
Fortunately, these sorts of attacks on Missouri's prevailing wage have been defeated in previous legislative sessions. One can hope that this will be the case in 2012 and these reprehensible attacks on workers, their families and their wages will again never make it to the governor's desk.