My Fellow Missourians:
I hurried home after session last Thursday, Jan. 26, just in time to do about an hour’s worth of choring the livestock. I then drove over to Lowry City for an Open House Study on Highway Route 13 Intersection improvements. There are 25 intersections between Clinton and Springfield with high crash rates. MoDOT is focusing on safety improvements including J-turns, adding left and right turn lanes or other modifications. There has been $5 million allocated for these improvements, and construction could start as early as the Spring of 2018.
I attended the Missouri Health Care Association (MHCA) District 4 Legislative Salute Luncheon at the Maranatha Village Community Center in Springfield on Friday. The MHCA serves as one voice for the long-term care profession across the state promoting issues and legislation to improve the long-term care setting.
Sunday after church, my wife, Marla, and I attended the Open House and Ribbon Cutting for the Golden Valley Medical Clinic in Osceola celebrating their move into a new building on the square. This walk-in clinic with a cardiac rehabilitation unit and host of other greatly beneficial services includes a drive-thru pharmacy operated by Evans Drug of El Dorado Springs. We are very thankful to have this impressive facility in the area.
Before I headed back to the Capitol on Monday, I met with the Hickory County Commissioners to discuss county-wide concerns that included cemetery funds, animal trespass issues, lettered highways, prevailing wage and becoming an Agri-Ready County through Missouri Farmers Care (MFC). I had the opportunity to stop by the Wheatland City Hall to visit about the “Discover More on Route 54” project.
I presented HB104 Tuesday morning in the Economic Development Committee hearing. This bill that I have sponsored would repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law. Currently, contractors and subcontractors working on public works projects are required to pay employees the prevailing wage for the particular locality in which the project is being completed. This bill changes the law to require contractors and subcontractors to pay employees state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. Contractors and subcontractors would be permitted to pay higher than the minimum wage if they chose, but that would not be a requirement. Public works projects would go to the most qualified, competitive bid. Missouri would join 21 other states that do not have prevailing wage law.
Right to work set to be signed into law (SB19):
The Missouri House gave final approval this week to Senate legislation that would make Missouri the nation’s 28th Right-to-Work state. The bill makes good on the promises of House Speaker Todd Richardson and Governor Eric Greitens, who both have pledged to make Missouri a Right-to-Work state in an effort to spur job creation and economic development.
The bill approved by the General Assembly would simply ensure employees are able to decide whether to join a labor union instead of being forced to join as a condition of employment. The bill includes a clause that will exempt existing union contracts. Specifically, it exempts any current agreement between an employer and labor organization from the restrictions in the bill. However, the provisions of the bill will apply to any current agreement that is later renewed, extended, amended or modified.
When it is signed into law by Governor Greitens, the provisions in the bill will take effect Aug. 28 of this year.