The state House has given final approval to a bill regarding collection of public employee union dues. Opponents say it’s part of a broader Republican attack on unions.
Supporters call it “paycheck protection.” The bill would require annual permission from a public employee before union dues or fees could come out of his or her pay.
Representative Bill Otto (D-Maryland Heights) said it’s another step toward another idea he opposes – right-to-work.
“I remember a previous speaker … talked and said out loud in a press conference that this is the first step … back then they didn’t think there was a chance for right-to-work but if we get this, then we can do this,” said Otto.
Republicans including Representative Delus Johnson (R-St. Joseph) says the bill isn’t about unions. He said workers’ dues go to support candidates they don’t.
“This law is impeding on the freedom of speech of every single public sector union member in this state. We need to change that law,” said Johnson.
The proposal got enough votes that if the total remains the same, supporters could overturn a veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D), who has vetoed such legislation in past years.
“That’s never been done in this House,” said Speaker Todd Richardson. “We’re very optimistic this bill will be able to get through the Senate and if the governor vetoes it, we clearly now have the votes and are prepared to override his veto.”
The bill goes to the Senate.