Missouri lawmakers push public construction restrictions

(ThinkStock)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri lawmakers are moving forward with proposals to end union-only contracts in public construction.

Both the House and Senate on Thursday passed versions of a measure to do so.

Local governments in Missouri currently have the option to issue bid requirements mandating union working conditions for contractors if the projects are less than half funded by the state.

Bills that switched chambers Thursday would extend the ban to all public construction.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens during his January State of the State speech called on lawmakers to pass a ban. Backers say doing so would save money on public construction and give more opportunities to non-union contractors.

Primarily Democratic and union opponents say it would limit local government options and lead to lower wages.