Nixon Vetoes So-Called 'Paycheck Protection' Bill Concerning Public Employees
Updated at 9:08 p.m. with comments from State Rep. Eric Burlison (R, Springfield), SB29's House handler.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced his veto of SB29, the so-called "paycheck protection" bill.
The bill would have required unions to get annual permission to withhold fees and dues from public employee paychecks.
Nixon said in a veto message Tuesday the bill would have placed what he called "unnecessary burdens on public employees for the purpose of weakening labor organizations."
The Democratic governor said the bill would have unfairly singled out one group of workers. He noted it would not have imposed similar requirements on other automatic paycheck deductions, such as savings accounts for college or retirement.
Hugh McVey, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO commented on the veto.
“We are grateful that Governor Nixon stands as a firewall against the extremist agenda that would unfairly take rights away from workers and seeks to lower wages in our state," McVey said in a statement.
Republican lawmakers who supported the bill said it would have protected the rights of individual union members. Eric Burlison (R, Springfield) was the bill's official House handler.
"The Governor had a chance to do what's right for employees of the state and give them the right to express where their political contributions go, (but) he chose for himself and his own self-interest to not give that right to employees," Burlison said.
Overriding the veto would be a difficult challenge for Republicans, even though they have a veto-proof majority in the House and the Senate. The House version of the bill was more than 20 votes shy of the threshold for an override.