Right to work legislation barrels down the homestretch

1 year 9 months 2 weeks ago Monday, January 30 2017 Jan 30, 2017 Monday, January 30, 2017 1:57:00 PM CST January 30, 2017 in News
By: Meg Hilling, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY -  Right to work legislation is nearing the homestretch this week as Senate Bill 19 cleared the first of two remaining house committee hearings on Monday.

Presented before the House Economic Development Committee, the bill, which would allow workers to decline joining a union while still keeping their job, was approved by the committee. 

"Reforming union law in Missouri is pro worker, pro transparency, and pro tax payer," said sponsor of the bill Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla.

Some lobbyists in opposition of the bill don't believe right to work would benefit the state.

 "I know a lot of people are on both sides of this issue. This is not going to be the magic bullet that saves the economy in Missouri. It won't do it," Richard Craighead with the United Steel Workers Union said.

Brown's bill was voted through by the Senate 21-12 last week.

A hotly contested topic, Brown's bill is not the only piece of the right to work legislation that has been considered by lawmakers. Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, proposed her own version, HB 91, that was passed by the House 100-59.

It was the difference between these two bills that took center stage during the hearing Monday.

Under Brown's bill, a "grandfather clause," would allow current contracts with union fees to continue until they expire on their own.

According to Brown, the clause would be the strictest of the 27 states that have right to work legislation in place, and would provide additional protection to workers.

The bill will be heard by the House's Rules Committee Tuesday and could be sent to the house floor by the end of the week.

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