Right to Work gets house approval, moves to Missouri Senate

3 years 9 months 4 days ago Thursday, February 12 2015 Feb 12, 2015 Thursday, February 12, 2015 11:19:00 AM CST February 12, 2015 in News
By: Christina Santiago, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY - State representatives gave final approval to Right to Work legislation Thursday and are sending the bill to the Missouri Senate for discussion.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, sponsored HB 116, which would prohibit contracts that require a worker to join a union or pay union fees as a condition of employment. Burlison said in a press release Thursday the bill's passage marks the first time in Missouri history that such legislation has been approved by either chamber.

"Missouri is not as competitive on the world market as it could be. Businesses are bypassing our state for greener pastures. Freedom to Work will level the playing field and allow us to compete for new employers and jobs," Burlison said.

Missouri Chamber President and CEO Daniel P. Mehan voiced support for the bill in a press release.

"Without Right to Work protections, Missouri is losing the battle for jobs," said Mehan. "Often, we are not even part of the discussion when businesses look to expand. Today's House vote brings Missouri closer to truly competing for jobs in today's competitive business climate."

Last session, the chamber failed to get a constitutional majority, so Republican leaders dropped it. Opponents say the effort is a politically motivated attack on unions and will weaken the middle class and result in lower wages for workers. It's unclear whether the Senate will pass the measure.

Currently, 24 states have passed Right to Work laws. The Missouri House passed the bill by a vote of 91-64. It now moves to the Missouri Senate for consideration.

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