RTW Launches Another Ad Campaign
September 29, 2015

(AP) – After falling short of the legislative votes needed to enact a right-to-work law, supporters of the measure are launching an advertising campaign in hopes of pressuring Republican lawmakers who oppose it to switch sides and help Missouri become the 26th state to bar mandatory union fees.

A television ad by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity was to hit cable systems in Rep. Kathie Conway’s St. Charles-area district on Tuesday. The ad urges voters to call the lawmaker – who was one of 20 Republicans who recently helped defeat the bill – and tell her “to stand with Missouri workers, not Barack Obama’s liberal agenda.”

Voters in Conway’s district also will be getting mailings with photos of Democratic President Barack Obama and a man lighting a cigar with a caption that says Conway “voted to defend special interests.”

Conway didn’t immediately return requests from The Associated Press seeking comment this week.

RTW Override Fails, Others Vetoes Overifden
September 16, 2015

AP) – Missouri’s Republican-led House took the first step Wednesday toward enacting a ban on local minimum wages but fell significantly short in an attempt to override a veto of a right-to-work bill that would have barred mandatory union fees in workplaces.

The employment bills were the prime focus of Missouri’s annual veto session, which drew hundreds of union members and business leaders to the Capitol to see whether Republicans are able to succeed in their long-sought attempt to make Missouri the 26th right-to-work state. Union supporters cheered in the Capitol halls when the vote failed.

The Legislature also could consider overriding vetoes of bills that would cut Missouri’s jobless benefits to one of the shortest periods nationally and block certain immigrants from receiving college scholarships.

Veto overrides require a two-thirds vote in each chamber. Republicans hold the supermajorities to make that happen, as long as they don’t have more than a few dissenters. Earlier this year, for example, Republicans stuck together to override Nixon’s veto of a bill removing several thousand families from the welfare rolls by shortening how long they can receive cash payments.

But the right-to-work bill got just 96 House votes – well short of the 109 needed for an override – as some Republicans sided with Democrats and unions.

Senate Passes RTW, Now Back to House
May 13, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Senate Republicans used a rare procedural motion Tuesday to shut down debate and pass a right-to-work measure – a move Democrats say will bring business to a halt as this week’s deadline to pass bills nears.

The Senate voted 21-13 to approve the bill that prohibits workplace contracts in which union fees are collected from nonmembers. Supporters say it would attract more businesses to Missouri and improve the state’s economy.

The motion to force a vote hadn’t been used since 2014, when it was employed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a measure tripling the waiting period for abortions. Prior to that, it had not been used since 2007.

The right-to-work legislation, which opponents say could lead to lower wages and make training more difficult, now goes back to the state House, which passed a similar version earlier this year. A final House vote would send the bill to Nixon, who has indicated he likely would veto it.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, a Joplin Republican, had said the right-to-work issue was a priority of his and would be handled before anything else as Friday’s deadline to approve bills approaches. But Democratic Sen. Scott Sifton of St. Louis County called Republicans’ use of the motion “the nuclear option.”

“This session has already gone badly enough for working Missourians. We can’t allow it to get any worse,” Sifton said.

He and other Democrats, in an attempt to block any other moves by the Republicans, were forcing roll-call votes on multiple motions on Tuesday.

Dempsey Expects RTW Senate Vote
February 20, 2015

(AP) – Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says he has doubts about whether right-to-work can become law this year.

Dempsey said Tuesday he hasn’t decided whether he would vote for right-to-work. But he says he still will allow it to come to a vote in the Senate after the measure passed the House last week.

The Missouri House’s passage came on a 91-64 vote, putting the measure short of the 109 votes needed to override an anticipated veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Dempsey says he has many relationships with union members and that there were good reasons for the formation of unions. But he says he does believe the state has lost out on some business opportunities because it’s not a right-to-work state.

How Far Will RTW Go?
February 12, 2015

(AP) – A statewide right-to-work measure passed in the Missouri House on Thursday, potentially setting the stage for an intense fight in the Senate where one Democrat who’s a retired union member said she would “fall on her sword” to block it.

The measure, approved 91-64 with two members present but not voting, would bar unions statewide from collecting fees from non-members. Final passage, after an initial vote in support on Wednesday, marks a political victory for Republican supporters who had failed to gain the needed constitutional majority last session for approval.

House Speaker John Diehl said it was a historic vote and that even if Missouri didn’t become a right-to-work state this year, it was “inevitable” and the issue would keep coming up until it does pass.

But getting it to the desk of Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who has said he opposes right-to-work, may be a challenge.

Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, would not say whether she would filibuster but noted that, as a retired union member, she strongly opposes the measure.

“I would absolutely fight that bill. It’s one of my core values and beliefs,” Walsh said. “To me, that’s a bill that I’m willing to fall on my sword for.”