The Missouri Legislature will be asked this year to ban required union fees for workers. Sen. Eric Burlison, a Republican from Springfield, has filed a Right to work proposal. He has sponsored similar legislation while serving in the House of Representatives.

Senate President Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan)

During a press conference Wednesday, Senate President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, was asked if he thinks a Right to work proposal will get some traction this year.

“I think it’s unlikely, but every individual Senator has the ability to file a bill. It will get referred and go to committee. It will work its way through the process. We’ll get public input and testimony. But do I think it’s likely? No, I don’t think it’s probably unlikely,” says Schatz.

In 2017, the legislature passed a right to work bill quickly, but voters overturned the law in a referendum last August. Organized labor bought about $15 million in ads, compared to $3 million by Right to work supporters.

“They ran a very effective campaign on Prop A, but I will always continue I believe that the freedom to work is the right thing for Missouri,” says Schatz.

Right to work supporters contend that such laws improve the economy and create jobs. Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh, a longtime union worker from Bellefontaine Neighbors, has said banning mandatory union fees would lead to a decline in wages and safety measures.

The Missouri legislative session began on Wednesday.

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