The state senate leadership expects to discuss right to work legislation before spring break but the leaders are not saying there will be a vote on it—because of uncertainty among the majority Republicans.
It’s Senate President Pro tem Rob Mayer’s big issue. He’s gotten it through a committee but now he has to play a numbers game, trying to get 18 of the 34 senators to vote for the bill that is being handled by Senator LuAnn Ridgeway of Smithville. Getting enough members of his own caucus to sign on to pass the bill is one thing. He’ll need unanimous support of his caucus to override an expected governor’s veto—if he can get Ridgeway’s bill passed to begin with.
Mayer candidly admits that he cannot say he has pinned down any specific number of votes. In fact, he guesses there are seven to nine members of his caucus that are not supporting right to work.
Mayer knows he won’t have at least seven votes—the minority democrats. That number goes up to eight if the final results of last Tuesday’s special election in Kansas City are certified in time to let present Representative Kiki Curls move into the senate. Those seven or eight Democrat votes, coupled with the seven to nine members in Mayer’s own caucus leave the outcome of a floor vote uncertain.
The senate has been working on a pro-business agenda outlined before the session by the state chamber of commerce. Right to Work is not on the chamber’s priorities list.