Kansas lawmakers approve ban on local wage rules

Kansas Legislature

TOPEKA, Kansas  (AP) — Kansas legislators have sent Gov. Sam Brownback a bill barring cities and counties from requiring private contractors to pay union-scale wages on public projects.

The House gave the measure final approval Friday night on a vote of 88-32. The Senate had passed it Tuesday.

The legislation bans local governments from requiring private firms to pay employees more than the federal minimum wage for work on public contracts.

It’s aimed at local policies requiring contractors to pay so-called prevailing wages. The federal Department of Labor sets those rates, and critics say they’re often based on union scales.

Wyandotte County has a prevailing wage policy.

Republicans said the bill will lower the cost of public projects. Democrats said prevailing wage policies don’t boost costs and ensure workers earn a decent living.

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