144th District state rep. candidate Jim Scaggs says repeal of prevailing wage would be bad for workers, business and economy

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JIM SCAGGS, the Labor-endorsed candidate for the 144th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives, talked to the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council last month about the harm RTW and repeal of prevailing wage would have on workers, business and the economy. – Labor Tribune photo

Special Election Feb. 6

Iron County, MO – Jim Scaggs is the Democratic candidate seeking election Feb. 6 to the 144th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. He has been endorsed by the St. Louis Labor Council and the Mineral Area Labor Club.

The 144th District seat was previously held by Republican Paul Fitzwater, who resigned last year after being appointed to the state parole board. His former legislative assistant, Chris Dinkins, is the Republican candidate in the race. The district includes Washington, Reynolds, Iron and Wayne counties.

A long-time southeast Missouri businessman, Scaggs is in his fourth year serving as presiding commissioner of Iron County, where he has balanced the budget and boasts that the county is running in the black financially for the first time in more than a decade.

Owner and operator of Scaggs Rock-N-Lime in Patterson, Scaggs worked for Specialty Granules Inc. (SGI) for 31 years, starting as a union laborer and retiring as manager of operations.

Scaggs met with the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council last month and laid out his goals for the district and his position on “right-to-work” (RTW), prevailing wage and other worker-related legislation.

“Gov. Greitens campaigned on RTW,” Scaggs said. “Chris Dinkins (the Republican candidate in the 144th Dist. race) liked and campaigned for him. This is bad for Missouri, bad for our local economies, bad for third and fourth class counties.

“They want to do away with Prevailing Wage. I think that’s wrong for third class counties like Iron,” where the median household income is $36,239 and 23.4 percent of the population live below the poverty line.

At least 10 bills have been introduced this session that would eliminate or curtail prevailing wage laws in Missouri. That’s bad business and bad economics, Scaggs says.

“When people in our county make prevailing wage, they come back and spend it in our community,” Scaggs said. “It’s good for businesses, good for our residents and good for our economy. But it’s not only about us, it’s about the future of our state.”

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