Right To Work

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Not all of the news that you see and hear featured on St. Louis Public Radio comes from the St. Louis region itself—some of it comes from our reporters located in Jefferson City and Washington D.C. That would be Marshall Griffin and Jim Howard, respectively.

On Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” the two discussed the year’s biggest news from our nation’s capital and the capital of Missouri. 

Here’s some of what they discussed:

Democrats are in the super minority in both the Missouri House and the Missouri Senate.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A new Missouri political action committee has launched a $1 million ad campaign targeting 20 Republicans in the Missouri House who voted against a proposed right-to-work law this fall.

The PAC is called The Committee for Accountable Government in Missouri. So far, all of its donations have come from members of the Humphreys family, which owns Tamko, a Joplin-based company that specializes in manufacturing residential and commercial roofing products.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The past year was full of watershed political moments in St. Louis and the state of Missouri, but what will have the greatest implications for 2016? On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh picked the brains of two people who know best: St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum, political reporters and hosts of the podcast Politically Speaking

Ryan Johnson
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome Missouri Alliance for Freedom’s Ryan Johnson to the program for the first time.

Rep. Eric Burlison
Scott Harvey I KSMU

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Eric Burlison to the show (with some generous assistance from our friends at KSMU).

Sen. Gina Walsh
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Tim Lloyd welcome state Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, to the program for the second time.

She represents the 13th District, a north St. Louis County area that encompasses portions of Ferguson and Dellwood. Walsh spent nearly three decades as part of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local #1, and she's currently the president of the Missouri State Building & Construction Trades Council.

Former state Sen. Tom Dempsey
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey.

The St. Charles Republican provided some of his most in-depth comments about his departure from the Missouri Senate. He surprised many by resigning last month and taking a job at The Gateway Group, a lobbying organization that’s based in St. Louis. Retired financier Rex Sinquefield is one of the Gateway Group's clients.

Union supporters wore bright red/orange shirts that showed up in the gallery.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 12:40 a.m. Sept. 17 with legislative leaders' comments - Backers of “right to work” fell 13 votes short in the Missouri House, killing the most successful effort so far in the state to enact the law to curb union rights in the workplace.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:32 p.m., Sept. 16 with vote – The Republican push to bring "right to work" to Missouri failed in a 96-63 vote in the Missouri House. Up until the veto session started it was unknown whether Republicans legislative leaders would attempt the override. As it was, the GOP picked up four votes and fell short of the 109 needed to counter Gov. Jay Nixon's clear stand against the measure.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, says that a final decision on whether to bring up House Bill 116 could be decided right before the noon start.

The Missouri House in session on March 17, 2015.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On an “old school” edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin provide a preview of the Missouri General Assembly’s upcoming veto session.

Gov. Jay Nixon was greeted by an enthusiastic and supportive crowd Thursday for his announced veto of 'right to work' at the Local 36 Sheet Metal Workers training building.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

With Wednesday’s veto session looming, supporters and opponents of “right to work’’ are launching last-minute appeals – deploying ads, polls, rallies and money to make their case.

Backers of what's seen as an anti-labor measure, in particular, are gearing up on several fronts as they seek the necessary votes to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill. It would bar employers and unions from requiring all workers in a bargaining unit to pay dues or fees.

The Missouri Capitol Building
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

With several close votes expected during this week’s legislative veto session, the Missouri attorney general’s office weighed in today with a legal opinion declaring that vacancies won’t alter the number of votes in the state House and Senate required for a successful override.

In the Missouri House, the magic number is 109 votes. In the Senate, it remains 23. Some lawmakers had argued that fewer votes would be needed because of vacancies, making it easier to override Gov. Jay Nixon.

Union members clap in appreciation at a rally against overriding 'right-to-work' on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 in Arnold, Mo.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Union members are making sure Missouri Republican lawmakers who voted against ‘right-to-work’ earlier this year know that they will have union support during the next election.

Missouri's chapter of the AFL-CIO held a rally and knocked on doors Saturday in Jefferson County ahead of the General Assembly’s veto session next Wednesday. That's when a vote to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a  "right-to-work" bill could be brought to the floor. The measure would bar making union dues a condition of employment.  Currently a business or union can require dues when a majority of workers have voted to organize.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced drops in workers comp rates in at the Carpenters Training Center in Affton on Thursday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri businesses can expect to pay less for workers compensation insurance.

During a visit to Nelson Mulligan Carpenters Training Center in Affton on Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that a variety of Missouri businesses would see a drop in their workers comp rates. Companies pay for this insurance to avoid paying big costs when a worker gets hurt.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The debate on ‘right to work’ was at the forefront of Missouri’s most recent legislative session. 

Mother Jones leading a Colorado march.
United Mine Workers of America (Courtesy Rosemary Feurer)

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, the “grandmother of all agitators,” emerged as an activist in the late 19th century during the country’s rash of mine and railway strikes.

Fighting for organizations such as the United Mine Workers of America during strikes, Jones organized a transnational, multi-ethnic movement in support of a living wage, restrictions on child labor and public ownership of resources. She came to be nationally known as a dissident, a “dangerous citizen,” and an unapologetic Bolshevik—later in life, she owned up to all three.

A new TV ad calls for legislators to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of "right-to-work" legislation.
Screenshot | Americans for Prosperity ad

After a brief hiatus, both sides in the battle over “right to work” are back with a vengeance as they gear up for the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session in just over two weeks.

The dueling campaigns may be aimed, in part, at influencing Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Cape Girardeau. A spokesman said the speaker has yet to decide whether to bring up the “right to work” bill, which was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this summer.

Sen. Eric Schmitt
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast team welcomes Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, the chief sponsor of the broad court-reform bill known as Senate Bill 5.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed the bill into law last week. Among other things, it restricts the percentage of income that a municipality can collect from traffic fines and related court fees.

Peter Kinder primary election night 2010
Rachel Heidenry | 2010 | St. Louis Beacon

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is proposing that Gov. Jay Nixon and state Attorney General Chris Koster engage in public debates with him in the coming weeks over the issue of right to work.

“He would be willing to do any forum,’’ a Kinder spokesman said. That includes appearing jointly on TV or on radio.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Supporters of a Missouri right-to-work bill are launching the first of what they say will be a series of ad campaigns in the coming months in a bid to persuade state legislators to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

The state arm of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group with ties to the Koch brothers, began Wednesday running a statewide cable TV ad campaign.

State director Patrick Werner said about $200,000 will be spent on the ads, which are to run until July 4.

Gov. Jay Nixon ceremonially signs his veto of right to work Thursday, June 4, 2015 in St. Louis.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Amid GOP calls that he give back the money, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says any controversy over $50,000 that he recently received from the national UAW misses the point of why he vetoed an anti-union bill known as “right to work.”

“This is not partisan to me,’’ Nixon said in an interview Thursday after an unrelated news conference to herald a new business coming to the city’s Grand Center area.

Local 36 sheet metal worker leader Ernie Angelbeck celebrates Gov. Jay Nixon's signature vetoing "right to work" at a news conference Thursday, June 4, 2015 in St. Louis.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

As expected, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed the “right-to-work” bill passed by state lawmakers just before their session ended last month.

The measure would stop employers from making union dues a condition of employment. As it stands now, unions and businesses can make that requirement if a majority of workers have voted to be in a union.

Former House Speaker Steve Tilley
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s extra edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back former Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley to the show.

The Perryville Republican – who now has a residence in Chesterfield – was previously on the show in 2013, and provided candid insights into his tenure as speaker.  We asked him back to discuss two big stories percolating throughout the Missouri political universe – the resignation of Republican House Speaker John Diehl and the fight over “right to work.” 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Although Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon already has declared he’ll veto an anti-union bill known as “right to work,’’ a labor coalition has launched a TV ad campaign anyway.

The ad blitz is likely just the first salvo in what could be a summer-long effort by both sides to sway the public and politicians on the bill, which would bar employers and unions from requiring all workers in a bargaining unit to pay dues.

Jeff Smith
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies chat with former Missouri state Sen. Jeff Smith about his post-political life — and recent turbulence in Jefferson City. Smith was a rising political star before going to prison for lying to federal investigators.

State Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking team of Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, as their latest podcast guest.

Cornejo, 32, represents parts of St. Charles and Lincoln counties. He grew up in north St. Louis County and graduated from Hazelwood Central High School. He got his law degree from University of Missouri-Columbia; at least eight members of that law class ended up in state government.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, wait out the final hours of the Missouri Senate's session. Both men were strong proponents of "right to work" legislation, which is opposed strongly by labor unions.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It wasn't particularly surprising that state Sen. Bob Onder was pushing hard to get so-called "right to work" legislation through a seemingly intractable Missouri Senate.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican campaigned last year in support of right to work, which bars arrangements that force workers to pay union dues if a majority voted to organize. He supported that measure even though the population of union members has steadily increased in St. Charles County, which may be why his two unsuccessful GOP rivals opposed right to work during the campaign.

Clockwise from upper left, Sen. Ron Richard, R, Joplin; Reps. Jake Hummel and Karla May, newly elected Speaker Todd Richardson at microphone, Gov. Jay Nixon
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a “classic edition” of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin take stock of one of the strangest ends to a Missouri General Assembly session in recent memory.

Reps. Sue Entlicher and Eric Burlison during the right-to-work debate. 5.13.2015
Tim Bommel | Missouri House of Representatives

Amid a sex-text scandal engulfing the House speaker, the Missouri House voted Wednesday to approve an anti-union bill that would make Missouri the nation's 26th "right-to-work" state.

But the 92-66 vote was well shy the 109 needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s promised veto, prompting even some Republican lawmakers to blast their leadership for pressing for the controversial matter during the session’s final week.

Missouri capitol
RebelAt | English Wikipedia

After shutting down a Democratic filibuster, the Missouri Senate voted 21-13 to approve an anti-union measure that would make Missouri a “right-to-work’’ state.

Republican backers were two votes short Tuesday night of the 23 needed to override a guaranteed veto by Gov. Jay Nixon. They also achieved the final vote by using a controversial and rarely used procedure – called “moving the previous question,’’ or PQ – that angered many of the bill’s opponents.

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