May 15, 2017
2017 Marks Historic Year for the Merit Shop as Missouri Legislature Adjourns
Missouri lawmakers adjourned for the year on Friday, May 12th, marking a historic year for the merit shop. Our legislators were able to deliver on major issues such as Right to Work and PLA Reform, largely thanks to the voters who made it clear last November they were ready for a better business environment by electing a governor, and majorities in the House and Senate, who support the merit shop principles of free enterprise. 

While this was a 'watershed year' for the legislature, progress was slow in the Senate (more so than most years) and lawmakers were unable to consider several important issues, such as prevailing wage repeal or reform. 

A few other notes:
  • Unions and special interests have filed a petition to delay Right to Work until the 2018 general election. ABC is actively fighting this petition to ensure Right to Work becomes law this year and guarantee Missouri workers have a choice whether to join a union.  
  • Legislation to establish a statewide license for electrical contractors passed the General Assembly on May 11th. We will keep you updated as this new law is implemented. 
This was a tremendous year overall for the merit shop. We look forward to keeping up this momentum heading into 2018. Be on the lookout over the next several months as we introduce our initiatives and goals for next year's session. 
Below you'll find summaries of significant legislation considered this year.
= legislation passed 
= legislation did not pass
  Right to Work (SB 19) - This bill specifies that a person cannot be required to become or refrain from becoming a member of or paying dues to a labor organization as a condition or continuation of employment.  Signed by Governor Greitens, February 6th

Governor Eric Geitens signed Right to Work on Feb 6, 2017. Before it becomes law, the Missouri AFL CIO and NAACP have filed a petition to delay the law until the 2018 general election.

We need your help to ensure Right to Work becomes law THIS YEAR. As part of a coalition of like-minded industry leaders, ABC is prepared to financially support the fight to guarantee Missouri workers have a choice whether to join a union.

Let us know if you'd like to get involved in the fight to make sure Right to Work becomes law this year. Please email for more information. 
✔ PLA Reform (SB 182) - This bill modifies provisions of law relating to project labor agreements. Delivered to Governor Greitens, May 4th
PLA mandates are bad for taxpayers and for the vast majority of construction workers who choose not to join a labor union and the actions taken by the voters and our legislature demonstrate the growing consensus that PLA mandates are bad public policy. 

We appreciate the leadership shown by bill sponsors Sen. Bob Onder and Rep. Rob Vescovo in crafting this needed legislation to increase competition and provide better value to taxpayers by allowing all qualified Missouri contractors to compete on a level playing field to work on taxpayer-funded projects.
 Prevailing Wage Repeal (HB 104 This bill repeals provisions relating to prevailing wages on public works.  Passed House by a vote of 89-60; Senate did not bring up the legislation for a final vote.
We'd like to thank the governor and the House and Senate leadership, along with members of the General Assembly, who have publicly supported the effort to repeal the prevailing wage. Taxpayers, as the owners of publicly funded construction projects, deserve the best possible product at the best possible price. Studies have shown that prevailing wage laws can inflate construction labor costs up to 38%. Eliminating these laws will lower state and local government's cost of doing business, creating opportunities for more schools, roads, bridges, low-income housing, hospitals and prisons. 

We look forward to continued discussions with members of the General Assembly regarding prevailing wage repeal or reform options. 
✔ Statewide Electrical Licensing (SB 240) -Truly agreed to and finally passed, May 11
SB 240 passed the Senate unanimously and received approval from the House during the last week of session. ABC-member reactions to this bill have been mixed and we've closely monitored the bill through the entire legislative process.

Below are some provisions within the bill:
  • Does not establish a Board to oversee the licensing process; leaves authority in the hands of the Division of Professional Registration;
  • it provides multiple paths to licensure as far as hours and accreditations go;
  • there is a grandfather clause for those that have performed a written exam for a license prior to 2018;
  • it allows localities to forego requiring a license and an electrician to be able to perform in that locality without a state license;
  • allows electricians with state licenses to perform work in any locality, regardless of the locality's license requirements;
  • allows for reciprocity with other states (which has created headaches when not included elsewhere);
  • and sets forth comprehensive complaint and penalty procedures.
 STAR Tax Credit (HB 580) - This bill authorizes the Skilled Trade and Apprenticeship Revitalization (STAR) Tax Credit, which authorizes a tax credit for employing apprentices in a skilled trade. Heard before House Committee on Workforce Development, March 1

HB 581 failed to make it out of committee this year.

☒ State Historic Tax Credit Cap Reduction (SB 6) - This bill reduces the annual cap for the state historic tax credit to $80 million for each fiscal year, which is $40 million less than the current limit. Passed Senate Committee on Economic Development, January 31; Senate did not bring up the legislation for a final vote

SB 6 would have significantly reduced the state historic tax credit and impacted construction projects in several jurisdictions. We will continue to monitor this if it is reintroduced during the 2018 session. 
Join us in Washington, D.C., for Legislative Week
Register today! Join us in Washington, D.C., June 19-23, for ABC's Legislative Week.

Now is the time to build on our victories to advance the merit shop agenda in Congress and in the Trump administration! Join your fellow ABC members as one powerful voice to educate Congress and regulators about the issues that affect your businesses and to showcase the opportunities and diversity ABC members contribute to our industry and the economy. 

We will also be holding a reception on June 21st for the Kansas & Missouri Congressional Delegation. This is a great opportunity to meet your representative in Congress.

Please email if you're interested in learning more. 
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