Republican leaders in the Missouri Senate Tuesday invoked a rare procedural motion to end a filibuster in order to pass a bill designed to end forced union dues.
The right-to-work bill passed the state Senate with a 21 to 13 vote, The Associate Press reports. The policy, which has already passed in 25 states, outlaws mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
The procedural motion was used after Democrat opponents, with support from some Republicans, attempted to stop the bill with an 8 and a half hour filibuster. Republican Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard has made passage of the bill a priority since supporters have until Friday evening before the legislative session ends.
St. Louis Public Radio details that supporters were able to shutdown the filibuster through a move known as “moving the previous question,’’ which angered many of the bill’s opponents. The move, though rarely used, is a simple motion to end debate on any debatable or amendable motion and bring that motion to an immediate vote.
Nevertheless, even with the successful vote, supporters still are unlikely to overcome a likely veto from Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon. Supporters were two votes short of the 23 needed to override such a veto. The state house passed its version of right-to-work in February, but it was also unable to get enough support to override the veto threat.
The likely veto is good news for opponents who argue right-to-work will hurt workers in the state by undermining the protections they get from unions.
“This session has already gone badly enough for working Missourians,” Democratic Sen. Scott Sifton told The Washington Times. “We can’t allow it to get any worse.”
Supporters, however, argue such a law would actually help workers in the state by attracting jobs and creating more opportunities for employment.
“Missouri is one step closer to joining 25 other states across the nation in giving its workers more freedoms,” Patrick Werner, state director for Americans for Prosperity, told St. Louis Public Radio. “…It’s great to see Missouri join many neighboring states in helping our local workers and employers.”
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