Another key part of this year’s Republican legislative agenda has advanced in the state senate, but not without long discussions and compromise. Neither side is happy, and one side thinks the whole thing is illegal.

Senator Dan Brown’s bill says government union workers have to annually authorize the withdrawal of union dues from their paychecks. Originally the bill said workers would have to make the payments themselves, but negotiations restored the employer’s payments of union dues and fees. Senator Gina Walsh minces no words in criticizing the result.

                                     AUDIO: Walsh :04

Walsh is a retired member of a construction trades union in St. Louis. Several Democrats criticized the bill as an effort to limit union support of the Democratic Party.

Although Democrats are outnumbered more than 2-1, they blocked votes until they got some concessions, although Minority Leader Jolie Justice thiknks the bill makes union workers break a law by telling their employers part of their union dues and fees can go for political purposes. .

                                 AUDIO: Justus :14

Brown admits some uncertainty about that part of the bill, but not enough to change anything.

                                                AUDIO: Brown :13

The senate might send the bill to the House before leaving Thursday for Spring break.