EARTH CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Governor Eric Greitens was in the St. Louis area Tuesday to sign a measure banning Project Labor Agreements, or PLAs, for public works projects like new schools, jails or police stations among other structures.
During the ceremony at the Earth City headquarters of Automation Service, Greitens said with the state facing severely limited transportation funding, Senate Bill 182 will help ensure Missouri gets as much value as possible from the available transportation tax revenue.
“Companies right here in the state of Missouri can now have the confidence to invest in the state again because we’ve sent a very clear message, and that is that Missouri is open for business,” according to Greitens.
Under SB 182, contractors will have a choice whether they enter into Project Labor Agreements.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis), and handled in the House by Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold).
Also in attendance during the bill-signing ceremony was the Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker.
He told those on hand that during this decade unemployment in Wisconsin has dropped from 9.2 percent to an historic low of 3.2 percent – while adding 200,000 jobs, thanks in large part to labor reforms.
“What that says is if you get government out of the way and you let the hard working people of your state get back on track again, there’s no end to the good that you can do,” said Walker.
Tom Hillman is the Chairman of Automation Service, which hosted the bill-signing event.
He called himself “a big, big fan” of the new law.
“It’s about jobs,” Hillman explained. “It’s about making Missouri more vibrant again.”
Opponents worry that under the new measure the quality of workers, the number of projects completed, and overall wages will suffer.
Cities or counties that defy the law could lose state funding or tax credits for up to two years.
“This bill levels the playing field,” Greitens concluded. “It puts an end to sweetheart deals that benefit union bosses and hurt the taxpayers.”