Lt. Governor Supports Suspension

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder joined Joplin-area lawmakers to discuss the suspension of prevailing wage for construction of low to moderate income residential housing.

Lt. Gov. Kinder is calling on Governor Nixon to support the suspension of prevailing wage in order to excelerate the rebuilding process.

Prevailing wage for construction increases wages for those who work on rebuilding Joplin. Some lawmakers say that it increases wages too much, causing a delay in the rebuilding process. Kinder agrees and says homes need to be replaced quickly.

"Our priority in Joplin must be to replace the homes that families lost in May, particularly home for low-income families. Because of the higher costs, contractors will be forced to cut back on the scale of projects for low-income housing in Joplin," said Kinder.

More than 3100 housing units are still needed in Joplin, including about 560 for low-income residents.

State Representative Bill Lant pre-filed a bill that would allow city councils, school boards and county commissioners to suspend the prevailing wage requirement for state-funded projects in their jurisdictions when a disaster has been declared.

Kinder offered a motion at the Missouri Housing Development Commission on December 16 to remove the recently imposed mandate that prevailing wage rates be paid on state-funded projects in Joplin's tornado zone. Despite the failed motion, Kinder said "this effort is not over."