Legislative Bulletin

2022 Missouri Legislative update at the midpoint of the session


The 2022 Missouri Legislative session has reached the unofficial halfway point. The House has been busy and productive in their work. Nearly 40 bills (38) have been third read and passed to the Senate for deliberation. The Senate, in stark contrast, has passed only 12 now. The driving force behind the Senate’s lack of production is the filibusters and amendments added to legislation by the conservative caucus that has essentially slowed the Senate to a crawl. Halfway through the 2022 session, only one bill has been passed into law, a supplemental budget bill (HB 3014) to fund raises for state employees, provide funding for Missouri’s Medicaid program, and allocate almost $2 billion in federal funds.

One of the most important pieces of legislation this session is the drawing of a new congressional map. Every ten years a census is conducted, and the district maps are redrawn to include changes that have occurred in population. These maps are redrawn at all levels—Congress, statehouse (House and Senate), and in the city council. In the Missouri Senate, much disagreement surfaced around a 6-2 map (as we have now) and a 7-1 map that would essentially change the boundaries of Congressman Cleaver’s 5th District. Finally, the Senate voted on and passed a 6-2 map. It now must be sent back to the House for their vote and then signed by the governor.

With all the rancor in the upper chamber, one large bright spot has been the women of the Senate. There are 11 of them. They have worked in a bipartisan manner on some important measures. Senator Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) has been the leader of this group. She organized a press conference right before spring break of more than 20 senators to highlight the Senate disfunction and ask for change. Senate bills started moving after that show of bipartisan support.

The only legislation that must be passed by the General Assembly per the Constitution each year is the budget. That will be the key focus for the remaining 8 weeks of session. The Congressional map is of second importance, which now moves to the House. Other topics that will be debated are continued legal reform (reducing the statute of limitations), education reform, sports wagering, FIFA, vaccine mandates, and regulatory reform to help startups.

The state government budget is flush with funds thanks to all the federal money sent to states due to the pandemic. Tax receipts also have been healthy. A lot of money will be spent on improving internet broadband connections across the state (especially in rural areas) and fixing infrastructure (like roads and bridges) that has long been neglected.

Bills that are consequential to the construction industry also have been filed. Some are seeing a little action, while others are parked in committee. Those bills include subjects like prevailing wage, the A+ Program, statewide contractor certifications and licensing (mechanical), Right to Work, low-income housing tax credits, and workforce development.

Staff will be monitoring bills closely as we enter the final stretch. The last day of the Missouri 2022 legislative session is May 13. The budget must be passed the Friday before (May 6). Below are summaries of the top issues facing lawmakers this session and the significant issues facing the regional construction industry with a prognosis of their chances to become law in Missouri.

The top issues in the legislature this session

Congressional map

As mentioned above, passing a new Congressional map is critically important this session. This happens once every ten years. Rep. Dan Shaul’s HB 2117 has been the vehicle used for the redistricting discussion. After much debate, filibustering, and drama, the Senate finally passed a 6-2 map. The issue would have been sent to the Western District Federal Court of Appeals to find a resolution. That will not occur now. The map now goes to the House for another vote and then on to the governor for his signature.

COVID-19 vaccination mandates

Right from the beginning of session, several representatives and senators were determined to file bills to prohibit employers from imposing vaccination mandates on their employees. Nearly 40 bills have been filed. The leading bills so far are Representative Bill Hardwick’s (R-Waynesville) HB 1686 and HB 2358 filed by Representative David Evans (R-West Plains). Both bills have passed the House and have had hearings in the Senate. Basically, the myriad bills that have been field fall under two camps. One set of bills state that employers need to make “reasonable accommodations” from a COVID-19 vaccination mandate if an employee request’s one made on sincerely held beliefs. The other set of bills are just bans on vaccination mandates. Senators also have tried to add COVID-19 language to any business-related bills that have come up for debate. With the dysfunction in the Senate, the jury is out if some COVID-19 language makes it to the governor’s desk.

Sports wagering

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018 that struck down a federal prohibition on sports betting, around 30 states have adopted legislation to allow some form of wagering on sports events. Missouri is getting closer to approving betting with the passage of House Committee Substitute for House bills 2502 and 2556. These proposals would implement an 8% tax on sports wagers. It is estimated the tax would bring around $10 million annually for the state. This legislation has been filed for the last several years
but has never moved along because different stakeholders (like the casinos) could not agree. This year all the parties came together with an agreement, so the legislation looks promising for final passage. Again, it rests on the Senate to find time around required budget discussions to bring it up for debate and a vote.

Legal reform

Business groups like the Missouri Chamber (whom we work with) have pushed over the last several years to improve the state’s legal climate. Success has been had over the last few sessions. This year, HB 2206 filed by Representative Curtis Trent (R-Springfield) aims to alter the outdated and litigation-friendly statute of limitations. Currently, actions for personal injury or relating to uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage must be brought within five years from the date the injury occurred. This bill reduces the time frame to two years from when the injury occurred. This bill also applies to asbestos tort actions filed on or after Aug. 28, 2022, and to asbestos actions filed before Aug. 28, 2022. Basically, it disallows double-dipping for asbestos exposure suits. This bill is ready to be voted out of the Rules Committee in the House. It will then need to be passed by the whole House and sent to the Senate. If the Senate can show they are working to pass legislation instead of continuing the dysfunction, more bills like this which are just sitting in the Rules Committee will be voted out quickly and sent to the other chamber. This bill has time to make it through the process. Again, it just depends on the Senate and if they can work together to pass some bills out. A similar bill was filed in the Senate by Senator Dan Hegeman, SB 631, and was approved by a committee in January.

FIFA

Many civic and business groups and private businesses in the Kansas City area and across the state have been meeting to help Kansas City’s application to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup (soccer) is the largest and most prestigious single sporting event in the world. The Super Bowl pales in comparison to the FIFA World Cup. In 2026, the tournament will be jointly hosted by 16 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 48 teams will be featured. The projected incremental economic activity per host city/region is approximated at $620 million. Over 3.5 billion people watched the 2018 World Cup. One of the requirements of FIFA is that no taxes, charges, or fees be added to the cost of a ticket to any matches played in KC. To that end, staff has worked with the above-mentioned groups to help secure passage of state legislation to do just that. Senator John Rizzo (D-Kansas City) has filed SB 652. A companion bill has been filed in the House, HB 2544, by Rep. Jonathan Patterson. The bill language states, “Beginning June 1, 2026, and ending July 31, 2026, this act authorizes a sales tax exemption for the sale of tickets to matches of the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in Jackson County.” The House bill has had a hearing and now sits in the Rules Committee awaiting further action. Hopes are high that this language will pass at some point. Staff will keep working to see it enacted.

Regulatory sandbox

Senator Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) filed SB 1068 which establishes the "Regulatory Sandbox Act," which creates the Regulatory Relief Office within the Department of Economic Development. The Regulatory Relief Office shall administer the provisions of the act with the purpose of identifying state laws or regulations that could potentially be waived or suspended for participating businesses during a two-year period in which the participating business demonstrates an innovative product offering to consumers. Similar legislation has been used in Utah and Arizona to help startups by waiving certain regulations initially. This bill has had a hearing and was voted do pass out of that committee. It awaits further action.

Education reform

Over recent legislative sessions, GOP legislators have worked to secure fair funding for charter schools and allow families to choose what public schools are best for their children. This session two bills have been filed and passed the House. HB 1552, filed by Rep. Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs), requires school districts to pay for each pupil attending a charter school in that district based on the formula established in the bill which includes all state aid and local aid received by the school district divided by the total weighted average daily attendance of the school district and all charter schools within the school district. The bill defines "local aid" to include all local and county revenue received by the school district and charter schools within the school district, with specific examples and exclusions specified in the bill. In addition, this bill allows, beginning after July 1, 2023, any person or a beneficiary of a trust that owns residential or agricultural real property in any school district, and pays a school tax of at least $3,000 in that district and owned property for at least three years, to send up to four children to that district without a tuition payment, upon notification to the district at least 30 days prior to enrollment, and the district shall count that child for the districts average daily attendance. This bill has passed the House and awaits a hearing that is scheduled in the Senate Education Committee.

HB 1814, sponsored by Rep. Brad Pollitt (R-Sedalia), creates a public school open enrollment program with the design to improve quality instruction and increase parental involvement, provide access to programs and classes, and offer opportunity to align parental curriculum options to personal beliefs. The bill specifies that any student beginning kindergarten or already enrolled in a public school may attend a public school in any nonresident district. Districts must declare participation in the Open Enrollment Program by Oct. 1. Participating districts are not required to add teachers, staff, or classrooms to accommodate transfer applicants. The bill includes a procedure for districts to take when a transferring student has special education needs. This proposal also has passed the House and sits in the Senate Education Committee.

Construction industry bills of interest

Low-income housing tax credits

This tax credit program has been under fire for a few years but is now coming back alive. Former Governor Eric Greitens closed the program down for three years by zeroing out the state’s contribution. Current Governor Mike Parson revived the program in the fall of 2020 as the number grew of people on the waitlist for affordable housing. Senator Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) has filed a bill the last three years attempting to place a cap on the amount of credits authorized each year. This session he has filed SB 860. The proposal states the cap shall be 70% of the amount of federal low-income housing tax credits allocated to the state. This act also reduces the limit on tax credits authorized for projects financed through tax-exempt bonds from $6 million to $4 million. To the extent that such limit is not reached in a fiscal year, the amount not authorized may, for such fiscal year only, be added to the amount of tax credits that may be authorized for projects not financed through tax-exempt bond issuance. SB 860 was pre-filed in December and assigned to the Senate Economic Development Committee. It has seen no attention since that time. Staff will be monitoring this bill as the session continues to see if it is brought up or the language is added to another bill that is moving through the process.

Historic preservation tax credits

Over the last several years, The Builders’ Association has worked with a statewide coalition to save this tax credit program, which has played a significant role in sustained economic development across the state (urban and rural). Two bills were filed on behalf of the coalition to strengthen the program by broadening the scope of the law and altering the scorecard the Department of Economic Development uses to consider projects. HB 2776 and HB 2815 were both filed by Rep. Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal). Both bills were filed later in the session and have not been assigned to a committee. This legislation will need to be pursued again next year.

Statewide mechanical contractor licensing

The Missouri Statewide Mechanical Contractor Licensing Act, SB 867, was filed this year by Senator Andrew Koenig (R-St. Louis). Under this act, the statewide mechanical contractor license for mechanical contractors shall be regulated by the Division of Professional Registration, within the Department of Commerce and Insurance. This act creates the Office of Mechanical Contractors within the Division to carry out the provisions of this act. Applicants for a statewide mechanical contractor license must meet certain criteria set forth in the act. A corporation, firm, institution, organization, company, or representative seeking to engage in mechanical contracting on a residential or commercial jobsite is required to employ at least one license holder. For residential and commercial jobsites, a statewide licensed mechanical contractor may represent only one entity at a time. A mechanical contractor shall have one license holder responsible for offering field employees eight contact hours of industry training each year, and mechanical contractors shall be responsible for providing proof of such training to the Division upon request. In the event of a loss of a license holder, a mechanical contractor shall remain in good standing with the Division for six months after notifying the Division of such change. Within the six-month period, a new license holder shall be registered with the Division. If no license holder is registered within such six-month period, the Division shall declare the mechanical contractor inactive. This act establishes the Missouri Mechanical Contractor Licensing Fund in the state treasury, which shall be expended for the administration of this act. Any individual who knowingly violates the provisions of this act is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. This bill has had a hearing and has been voted do pass out of the Senate General Laws Committee. It still has a long way to go in the process, so it appears this bill will not pass again this session.

A companion bill in the House, HB 2050 filed by Rep. Nick Schroer (R-O’Fallon), has similar language. It states the Statewide Mechanical License for mechanical contractors will be regulated by the Division of Professional Registration within the Department of Commerce and Insurance. The bill creates the "Office of Mechanical Contractors" within the Division, to carry out the provisions of the bill. Applicants for a statewide mechanical license must be 21 years old, provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, pass certain standardized mechanical assessment tests, and have completed 7,500 hours of field experience or at least a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of three years of experience supervising a field employee. A company that wants to engage in mechanical contracting is required to employ at least one statewide license-holder, and if the company loses their license-holder, they have six months to register a new license-holder before being declared inactive. A Statewide Licensed Mechanical Contractor may represent only one company at a time. A company must have at least one license-holder give eight hours of training each year. Political subdivisions may establish their own local mechanical contractor's license but shall recognize a statewide license in lieu of a local license. A political subdivision cannot require the employees of a statewide licensed mechanical contractor or its subcontractors or manufacturers to obtain journeymen licenses, apprenticeship licenses, or occupational licenses that require passing any examination or any special requirements to assess mechanical proficiency. The Statewide Mechanical Contractor License can be used to perform work in any political subdivision. If a political subdivision does not recognize a statewide license, a Statewide Mechanical Contractor Licensee may file a complaint with the Division, which must investigate such complaint. If the Division finds that the political subdivision failed to recognize a statewide license, the Division shall notify the political subdivision of such violation and grant them 30 days to comply. If after 30 days the political subdivision does not comply, the Division shall notify the Director of the Department of Revenue, who shall withhold any moneys the political subdivision would otherwise be entitled to from local sales tax until the political subdivision is in compliance. This bill establishes the "Missouri Mechanical Contractor Licensing Fund" in the State Treasury, which shall be expended for the administration of the statewide mechanical contractor licensure. Statewide mechanical contractor licenses shall expire after 24 months. Failure to renew the license will result in the license being declared inactive and the licensee cannot practice until the license is renewed. A licensee must also have at last 16 hours of training to renew the license. This bill sits on the House informal calendar ready for full House debate and passage. It is further along than SB 867 above. It could be in the Senate soon for debate there.

CM at risk, CM agency, and Design-Build

In an effort to add additional construction tools to the toolbox, so to speak, so more projects can conceivably be accomplished and to bring public construction delivery methods up to date for public bodies, two bills have been filed this session to accomplish that. SB 758, filed by Senator Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield), among other changes, states all contracts for projects, the cost of which exceeds $25,000, entered into by any city containing 500,000 inhabitants or more shall be let to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder or bidders after publication of an advertisement for a period of 10 days or more in a newspaper in the county where the work is located, in 2 daily newspapers in the state which do not have less than 50,000 daily circulation, and on the website of the city or through an electronic procurement system. All contracts for projects entered into by an officer or agency of the state in excess of $100,000 shall be let to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder or bidders based on pre-established criteria after publication of an advertisement for a period of ten days or more in a newspaper in the county where the work is located, in one daily newspaper in the state which does not have less than 50,000 daily circulation, and on the website of the officer or agency or through an electronic procurement system. The act permits the office of administration to utilize the construction manager-at-risk delivery method and to use the design-build method for non-civil projects more than seven million dollars and also have the authority to use such design-build delivery method for non-civil works projects valued at less than one million dollars. The act transfers provisions governing prompt payment of public works contracts and the rights of a contractor to recover costs or damages, or obtain an equitable adjustment, for delays in performing a public works contract from chapter 34 to chapter 8. The act expressly includes public institutions of higher education in the term "political subdivision" for purposes of current law relating to design-build projects and construction manager-at-risk projects. This bill has had a hearing and was debated on the Senate floor just days ago. After a filibuster began, the legislation was pulled and now sits on the informal calendar to be brought up another time. The bill’s prognosis is murky at this time.

There is a similar bill in the House that has an opportunity to move in the last few weeks of session. HB 1996, filed by Rep. Barry Hovis (R-Whitewater), states that currently design-build projects include non-civil works projects, such as buildings, site improvements, and other structures, habitable or not, commonly designed by architects in excess of $7 million. This bill just removes the $7 million limitation.

Staff will continue to monitor both bills. If they can get some traction, we also will see where they can be tweaked to allow medium size firms to utilize the expanded use of these delivery methods.

A+ Program

In 2019, the A+ Program was expanded to, among other changes, establish a procedure for the reimbursement of the cost of tuition and fees for any dual-credit or dual-enrollment course offered to a student in high school in association with a public community college or vocational or technical school. It also provided that the student must have attended a high school in the state for at least two years (changed from three years). This expansion came with no funding that year; the plan was to apply for funding the next year. Well, the next year was 2020, the year of the pandemic, so nothing happened. In 2021, the governor announced in his state of the state address he wanted a $13 million increase for A+ Program funding. That amount was placed in the budget last year, along with another $5 million that Senator Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City) secured.

This session, Senator Arthur filed SB 1055. This act creates provisions regarding dual enrollment courses. A dual enrollment course is a postsecondary course of instruction delivered by an approved higher education institution in which a secondary school student is concurrently enrolled in a Missouri high school and an approved higher education institution. The act renames the "Dual Credit Scholarship Act" as the "Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment Scholarship Act." In order to receive a dual enrollment scholarship, a student must meet current law requirements and be enrolled in a dual enrollment course offered by an approved higher education institution.

Under current law, a dual credit scholarship shall reimburse each eligible student for up to fifty percent of the tuition and cost paid by the student to enroll in a dual credit course. Current law also limits the amount of the scholarship per student to $500 annually for all dual credit courses taken by such student. This act provides that each eligible student shall be offered a dual credit or dual enrollment scholarship equal to the tuition and fees paid by the student to enroll in the dual credit or dual enrollment course. The act also repeals the $500 limitation. Finally, the act renames the Dual Credit Scholarship Fund as the Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment Scholarship Fund. This bill has only been second read and referred to the Senate Education Committee. It sits there without a hearing date, so its chances of passage this year are slim.

Staff continues to watch for A+ Program proposals and changes. It is a good program that assists students attending vocational and technical schools that are looking at a future in the construction industry. This program is an important workforce development tool for the industry.

Various workforce development proposals

Workforce development continues to be a focus in Missouri in the governor’s office and in the General Assembly. It also continues to be a prime focus for The Builders’ Association.

  • SB 672: Fast track workforce incentive grant
    • Sponsored by Senator Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield), this bill (among other items) modifies provisions relating to the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant program. Under the act, an eligible student shall include an individual who is enrolled with an eligible training provider, as such term is defined in the act. Occupations relating to eligible apprenticeships are added to the programs of study that the Coordinating Board for Higher Education shall annually review. Grants shall be awarded in an amount equal to the related educational costs for an eligible apprentice after all other governmental assistance provided for the apprenticeship has been applied. This act repeals requirements that the eligible student complete counseling and execute a promissory note in order to be eligible for a grant. Current law allows a Fast Track grant to be converted into a loan if a student fails to meet certain conditions. This act repeals such ability. This act shall sunset on Aug. 28, 2029, unless reauthorized by the General Assembly.
  • HB 2203: Fast track workforce incentive grant
    • Filed by Rep. Travis Fitzwater (R-Holts Summit), this proposal has the same language on Fast Track as SB 672 mentioned above. It also creates a joint committee on rural economic development and creates targeted industrial manufacturing enhancement zones. The bill has had a hearing and now sits in the Rules Committee.
  • HB 2325: Workforce Diploma Program and Extended Learning Opportunities Act
    • Sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Patterson (R-Lee’s Summit), this bill establishes the "Workforce Diploma Program" within DESE to assist students in obtaining a high school diploma and developing employability and career technical skills. This bill also establishes the "Extended Learning Opportunities Act.” The bill defines "extended learning opportunity" as an out-of-classroom learning experience as approved by the State Board of Education (SBE), school board, or a charter school and that provides a student with: 1) Enrichment opportunities; 2) Career readiness or employability skill opportunities including, but not limited to, internships; pre-apprenticeships; or apprenticeships; or 3) Any other approved educational opportunities. This bill is close to passing in the House. It still has to go to the Senate for deliberation.

Unemployment benefits

Every year there are bills filed to alter parts of the Employment Security law. Some are big changes, most are small. This year SB 667 was filed by Senator Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City). It is legislation that proposes to alter the duration an individual can receive unemployment benefits. This exact language has been filed over the last several sessions. It has come close to passing but has not made it to the governor’s desk. Specifically, the bill proposes to do the following. Under current law, the maximum duration for an individual to receive unemployment benefits is 20 weeks. This act modifies the duration an individual can receive such benefits by basing it on the Missouri average unemployment rate, as follows:

  • 20 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than nine percent.
  • 19 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8.5% but no higher than 9%.
  • 18 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8% but no higher than 8.5%.
  • 17 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7.5% but no higher than 8%.
  • 16 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7% but no higher than 7.5%.
  • 15 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6.5% but no higher than 7%.
  • 14 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6% but no higher than 6.5%.
  • 13 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5.5% but no higher than 6%.
  • 12 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5% but no higher than 5.5%.
  • 11 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4.5% but no higher than 5%.
  • 10 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4% but no higher than 4.5%.
  • 9 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 3.5% but no higher than 4%.
  • 8 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is at or below 3.5%.

The Builders’ Association is concerned that reducing the benefits by tying them to the general unemployment rate could hit construction workers harder relative to other industries. This would work against our career retention interests. The bill currently sits on the Senate informal calendar, which means it can be brought up at any time for debate and passage. Once that happens it will head to the House. This bill still has a way to go, but it does have a chance to pass. Staff will continue to monitor and talk with legislators.

Energy standards for public contracts

SB 1220 has been filed by Senator Elaine Gannon (R-De Soto). The act creates new standards for the maximum acceptable global warming potential for each category of eligible materials, as defined in the act, that are used in a public project. The Commissioner of Administration is charged with implementing these provisions as it pertains to public projects that deal with the construction, alteration, repair, demolition, or improvement of any land, building, structure, facility, or other public improvement. The Department of Transportation is responsible for implementing these provisions as it pertains to public projects that deal with roads, highways, or bridges. The act establishes baseline criteria for determining the maximum acceptable global warming potential, provided that the relevant officer may consult with any other relevant department, division, or agency of the state in determining such standards. The standards must be reviewed every four years and may be adjusted to reflect industry conditions, provided the standards cannot be adjusted upward for any eligible material. The Commissioner and the Department are required to submit an annual report to the General Assembly with information described in the act.

In every contract covered by the act, a public body shall require the designer who is awarded the contract to include in project specifications when final construction documents are released, a current environmental product declaration, type III, as defined by the international organization for standardization standard 14025:2006, or similarly robust life cycle assessment methods that have uniform standards in data collection, as set by policy by the commissioner for each eligible material proposed to be used in the public project that meets the maximum acceptable global warming potential for each category of eligible materials. A contractor that is awarded a contract for a public project shall not install any eligible materials on the project until the contractor submits an environmental product declaration for that material, provided that if a product that meets the maximum acceptable global warming potential for a category of eligible materials is not reasonably priced or is not available on a reasonable basis at the time of design or construction, the Commissioner may waive the requirement for that product.

This act also proposes to require each state department, during the procurement of concrete, to give consideration and preference to the procurement of a concrete mix design.

The bill has not even been second read in the Senate. It is getting no attention at this time.

Right to Work

Three Right to Work bills have been filed this session. None have had a hearing and staff does not anticipate any action this session on any of these bills or this subject matter. The House bill that has been filed is HB 2122 by Rep. Jered Taylor (R-Republic). There are two Senate bills: SB 706 sponsored by Senator Jason Bean (R- Holcomb) and SB 880 sponsored by Senator Eric Burlison (R- Battlefield).

Prevailing wage

In 2018, the Missouri General Assembly passed legislation that significantly altered the state’s prevailing wage law. With the new statutes, prevailing wage as an issue was taken off the table for discussion by Senate Pro Tem Dave Schatz. 2022 is the senator’s last year of his term (he is now running for U. S. Senate to replace Senator Roy Blunt), so we are fairly confident this topic will not get any debate time this year. Next year could be a different story.

With that backdrop, legislators have filed two bills this session. HB 2388 was filed by Rep. Kurtis Gregory (R-Marshall). The bill defines "qualified project" to include demolition or removal of a building no longer in use, if the funds used to pay for the project are from an account titled or referred to as "Deferred Maintenance" or any other similar name. The bill exempts institutions of higher education from paying prevailing wages for such projects. The other bill is HB 2750 filed by Rep. Allen Andrews (R-Grant City). It exempts counties of the third and fourth classification, and political subdivisions located within such counties, as well as any public works project where the costs and expenditures are equal to $500,000 or less, from the prevailing wage provisions for construction of public works projects. Neither bill is showing that it has any legs.

As always, if you have questions about any of the pieces of legislation above or would like us to look into a bill or issue not listed, please contact Allen Dillingham, Government Relations Director for The Builders’ Association, at 816.595.4121 or [email protected]sassociation.com. We also encourage you to contact your elected representatives on these pieces of legislation and other issues important to you and your business.