The Missouri legislature is one step closer to becoming a “right to work” state, after the state House voted 100 to 59 in favor of the legislation Thursday.
The vote comes after Republicans made “right to work” a priority during the present session. If the law passes the state Senate as expected, employees will no longer be required to pay union fees.
Various business interests and coalitions of lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully to pass similar legislation in Missouri for years, but now that the GOP holds a super-majority in the legislature and a Republican occupies the governor’s mansion, “right to work” is closer to reality.
Missouri follows Kentucky in enacting strong right to work legislation following the 2016 fall campaign season. Members of the the GOP-dominated House assert that the election of Republican Governor Eric Greiten is actually a referendum on “right-to-work.”
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Holly Rehder, includes language that allows for criminal penalties for anyone found to be violating the proposal.
— Holly Rehder (@hrehder) January 19, 2017
“It’s just helping the state in an overall way,” Rehder said. “It might not touch anything in St. Louis. They might not see a big bump. But down in the Bootheel where I live, we miss jobs every year and we miss businesses every year because of not being right-to-work,” she said.
The Missouri Democratic Party responded to the bill’s passage with a tweet of their own:
Missouri Democrats proudly stand with labor and are appalled by Republicans voting a “right-to-work-for-less”scheme out of the Mo House.
— MO Democratic Party (@MoDemParty) January 19, 2017
After passage, Missouri will become the 28th “right to work” state in the country.
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