Leaders of the two parties in the Missouri Senate are talking about working together during this year’s legislative session but there will be no middle ground on one issue.
Majority Republicans in the Senate want to cut taxes. Democrats say they do, too, but they will differ with Republicans on the specifics and the beneficiaries.
Both sides say reforming the state’s criminal laws is a priority. School transfer legislation is important to both.
But Right to Work? No way is there going to be a compromise on that issue.
Senate leader Tom Dempsey, a Republican, who admits discomfort with the issue, says, “It’s a part of , looking at labor environment, looking at the legal climate, looking at tax policy, looking at regulatory environment.”
But Democratic floor leader Jolie Justus says her members will stand with organized labor. “Right to Work is kind of an all or nothing proposition. We are opposed to it, absolutely,” she says.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says less than eleven percent of Missouri’s workforce is unionized. But Dempsey says people wanting to locate a business here see an unfriendly labor environment. He says he’ll let the Senate debate the bill if the House approves it first.
When Dempsey was the Senate floor leader, he allowed Right to Work to have little debate time.