A “right to work” bill has been sent to the state Senate, but its leadership acknowledges doubt that it can become law this year.
A right-to-work law would bar workers from having to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
For the first time in Missouri a right-to-work bill has been passed out of a legislative body, having passed out of the state House. If that is passed by the Senate it is likely Governor Nixon would veto it, and House backers would need roughly 17 more votes to overturn a veto.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) says that’s disappointing.
“I’d have been more anxious if it was 109 or 110,” said Richard. “We’ll see how it proceeds if it gets out of [a senate] committee.”
Senate President Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) says the vote total in the House creates doubt the bill can become law this year.
“But many of my members, Republican senate members, are in support of right-to-work, believe it’s important from an economic development standpoint for the state to be a right-to-work state,” Dempsey told reporters. “I’m going to send it to the Small Business Committee and they’ll work on it. Should it get voted out of committee I’ll put the bill on the calendar at some point and then it’s anybody’s guess as to what happens.”
House leaders also acknowledge the bill might not become law this year, but House Speaker John Diehl, Junior (R-Town and Country) says its passage this year is historic and sends a strong message.
“Right-to-work will come to Missouri at some point in time. I think it’s inevitable,” Diehl said. “Hopefully we can get it done this year, but if not this year it’s going to keep being an issue until it crosses the finish line.”