Missouri lieutenant governor says wages could limit Joplin rebuilding effort

Monday, November 14, 2011 | 10:37 a.m. CST; updated 10:47 a.m. CST, Monday, November 14, 2011

JOPLIN — Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wants to suspend the wage requirements being used to rebuild some government-financed homes after the deadly Joplin tornado.

Kinder said Monday that high wages could reduce the number of homes that the Missouri Housing Development Commission can afford to finance.

The commission had previously voted to follow the federal prevailing wage on its projects. But a Sept. 30 revision of the federal wage rules significantly increased those amounts. For example, the federal prevailing wage for a carpenter in the Joplin area rose from $7.98 an hour to $21.47 an hour, plus $12.65 of fringe benefits.

Kinder wants the state housing commission to reconsider its decision to follow the federal wage rules at its Dec. 16 meeting.

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