The Republican-controlled Missouri General Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that would make the Show-Me State the 26th right-to-work state in the country.
The House voted 92 to 66 for the right-to-work legislation Wednesday, while the Senate voted 21 to 13 Tuesday. As The New York Times notes, the bill would forbid employers from making union dues or representation fees mandatory. The map below shows which states have comparable legislation:
National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation
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“Freedom to work is necessary if Missouri wishes to regain a competitive standard with the states that surround us,” said state Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican who sponsored the legislation. “It will encourage job growth and help unions become stronger.”
But the bill has a large hill to overcome, with a Democratic governor and the lack of a veto proof majority. 109 votes are needed in the House, while 23 are needed in the Senate. One Republican lawmaker asserts passing the bill this late in the legislative term was an ineffective move. “This symbolic gesture has killed all of our bills,” argued Republican state Rep. Kevin Engler. “Does this make any sense?”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has signaled he would veto the bill. “Attacking workers and weakening the middle class will not create jobs,” he said in a statement Thursday:
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In fact, rolling back the rights of working people would weaken our economy by lowering wages and making it harder for middle-class families to move up the economic ladder.
This bill also takes the extreme step of subjecting Missouri employers to criminal and unlimited civil liability, which would stifle growth and discourage investment in our state. At a time when our economy is picking up steam and businesses are creating good jobs, this so-called right-to-work bill would take Missouri backwards.
The Missouri GOP also has another issue to deal with. State House Speaker John Diehl resigned Thursday after the Kansas City Star alleged he had a sexual relationship with a college-aged intern, according to Talking Points Memo.
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