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Missouri Senate not prioritizing right-to-work legislation

By   /   February 12, 2013  /   3 Comments

RIGHT TO WORK: The Missouri House seems more interested in taking up the issue in 2013 than the Senate does.

By Eli Yokley | Missouri News Horizon

JEFFERSON CITY — It’s been made a priority in the Missouri House of Representatives, but State Sen. Ron Richard does not think the Senate will prioritize passing legislation to make Missouri a “right to work” state.

Speaking to reporters on Monday evening, Richard, the Senate Majority Floor Leader, said there is “a lot of talk” in the House about legislation that would prevent union membership from being a condition of employment, but believes it would be a hard sell in the Senate.

Sen. [Rob] Mayer didn’t have much luck,” he said, referring to the former Senate President Pro Tem’s attempt to pass the bill last year. “I have other issues I want to tackle over here.”

Some of those issues also have to do with labor policy. Richard said he is in favor of two proposals making their way through the legislative process that would modify the state’s prevailing wage laws and ban union dues from being used for political purposes without the sign-off by the employee.

“I’d like to see those done before we tackled,” he said, before he would consider a “right-to-work” bill.

House Speaker Tim Jones made a similar statement late last year during a statewide bus tour. At the time, he said he would prioritize the two proposals in his chamber as a way to “skin the cat” toward “right-to-work.” Since, he has signed on to a proposal to ultimately move the legislation in his chamber even before passing the other two proposals.

“I don’t think it is an issue that Missourians and our legislature can avoid,” he said. “Why shouldn’t employees have the right and the freedom to join an organization if they want to or not? It is really hard for people to oppose that in principle.”

He said “it may be a multi-year process,” and does not know where it will end up this year, but said it is a priority in his chamber. “We’ll see where the debate goes. I need a willing partner in the Senate. If they don’t move on it, it won’t become law.”

An overflow crowd watched as the legislation was debated in a House committee last week. The legislation is still in committee.

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Johnny Kampis is a content editor at Watchdog.org, and is helping to start the organization’s Alabama Watchdog bureau in his home state. Johnny previously worked in the newspaper industry and as a freelance writer, and has been published in The New York Times, Time.com and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Morgan/1627535377 Kevin Morgan

    Isn’t this great? The Republican leader wants to restrict labor contributions for political purposes while we have unrestricted corporate contributions. This is abuse of power. These guys are criminals operating with an impunity that built for themselves.

  • William

    Joining a Union should not be a condition of employment. If I want to be represented or not is my choice and not forced on me just to have a job and there should be a law against it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Meyer/100003386713780 Ken Meyer

    Kevin;

    I don’t see any effort to restrict VOLUNTARY labor “contributions for political purposes” at all; rather only those that are FORCED by virtue of coming from non-voluntary “dues” payers.

    Corporations indeed make political contributions…but of their own volition. Unions, however, have stood alone in their government-granted ability to COERCE individuals who do NOT share the unions political goals to fork-over their hard-earned money as a form of “support”.

    So….”abuse of power”? Right now that seems to describe the type of corrosive and corruptive power the UNIONS are CURRENTLY exercising in the matter.

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