CAMDENTON, Mo. – Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said his Republican colleagues in the General Assembly will have failed if they do not pass a controversial “right-to-work” bill before heading home on May 15.
“This session will not be a success if we do not get ‘right-to-work’ on Governor Nixon’s desk,” Kinder told about 500 Republicans here at the annual Camden County Lincoln Days dinner on Saturday evening.
A bill was passed out of the House earlier this session, and another advanced from a Senate committee in the week before lawmakers left town for their Spring Break. But, the bill has not yet been heard by the entire Senate, and Senate President Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, has shown hesitance about the policy in the body where a single lawmaker could stall the bill.
Still, Dempsey, and Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, have said they plan to at least give it some time on the Senate floor before adjourning in May.
Unlike other controversial issues, support and opposition for “right-to-work” does not necessarily fall along traditional party lines. A number of Republicans who hail from districts with heavy union populations, like Dempsey, have opposed the bill. When it passed the House, the measure was opposed by some two dozen Republicans.
The policy, which would employers from requiring payment of dues or representation fees to a union as a condition of employment, has been sought by conservatives nationwide as a way to, in their view, lure businesses to states (Most of Missouri’s neighbors have the policies on the books). But, in the view of opponents, the policy is seen as a way of union busting by targeting one of their funding bases.