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A Showdown in the ‘Show Me’ State Over Right-to-Work Legislation

RTW MO
With Presidential contender Scott Walker’s signing of Wisconsin’s Right-to-Work law—which bans the firing of workers who refuse to pay fees to a union—the nation is now evenly split with 25 states having so-called Right-to-Work laws and 25 states that still allow the firing of workers who refuse to pay union fees.

Some legislators in Missouri, however, want to tip the balance by making the “Show-Me” state the 26th Right-to-Work state.

On Monday, Missouri’s Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee passed a “right-to-work” measure in an effort to push it through the Legislature during the last week of session.

Needless to say, it is a partisan issue, according to LakeExpo.com:

Legislative leaders have been clearing the decks so they can debate a “right-to-work” bill. It would outlaw employment contracts that make union dues or fees a condition of employment.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, controls the debate calendar in the Senate. He said Friday that the right-to-work bill was his top priority for the last week.

“Both sides have their priorities,” he said. “If mine don’t make it, no one else’s will.”

Supporters say the right-to-work bill would help Missouri compete for new industries; opponents say it would result in lower wages and a weaker middle class.Democrats vow to filibuster the bill, which means Republicans would have to invoke a rarely used maneuver to cut off debate. That would likely trigger a slowdown by Democrats of all remaining bills in the pipeline.

Although Right-to-Work legislation already passed the Missouri House of Representatives 91-64, it is far short of the 109 needed to override a threatened veto from Gov. Jay Nixon.

“Right-to-work will come to Missouri at some point in time — I think it’s inevitable,” Representative John Diehl, a Republican and speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives told the New York Times in February. “Hopefully, we can get it done this year, but if not this year, it’s going to keep being an issue until it crosses the finish line.”

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