Right To Work

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.

Rep. Jacob Hummel and Sen. Joe Keaveny, Democrats from St. Louis
Tim Bommel of House Communications and Rebecca Smith of St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies use the magic of radio to interview the Missouri General Assembly’s two Democratic leaders – Senate Minority Leader Joe Keaveny and House Minority Leader Jake Hummel.

Jo Mannies|St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated, 1 p.m. Tues., May 12) Just days before the General Assembly must adjourn, all other legislative issues are being held hostage while the Missouri Senate debates the hottest issue of the session: an anti-union bill known as “right to work.”

The Senate took up the bill Tuesday morning, after a committee voted 5-3 late Monday to send the measure to the floor.  Opponents quickly launched into a filibuster.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner talks with reporters in O'Fallon, Illinois. Rauner expressed enthusastic support for bringing the NGA headquarters to the Metro East.
File photo | Katelyn Petrin I St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is bullish about an effort to get the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to relocate near Scott Air Force Base.

The federal government is mulling over several locations to relocate the NGA’s facility, which is currently in south St. Louis. That includes a location near Scott Air Force Base, as well sites in north St. Louis, south St. Louis County and Fenton.

Tom Dempsey R. Mo Senator 02182014
Official photo

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, says he has yet to take a position on the “right-to-work’’ bill that is headed to his chamber after passing the House last week.

“I’m still looking at it,’’ Dempsey said in an interview.

He also remains skeptical that the measure — which would restrict union rights in the workplace — has enough Senate votes to override what he sees as “a certain veto’’ by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat with close labor ties.

House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town & Country
Tim Bommel, House Communications

On this special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about the passage of “right to work” legislation in the Missouri. 

The bill in question – sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield – would bar unions and employers from requiring all workers to join a union and pay union fees, if a majority votes to organize. It passed the Missouri House on Thursday with 92 "yes" votes, which falls short of the majority needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated 12:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12)

For the first time ever, the Missouri House has approved a right-to-work bill that curbs union rights.

But the House’s 92-66 vote Wednesday afternoon was far short of the number – 109 -- needed to withstand a likely veto by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat with close union ties.

Final House approval came Thursday morning. The  measure now moves to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future and a possible Democratic filibuster.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1 p.m., Wed., Feb. 11)

By a voice vote, the Missouri House gave first round-approval Wednesday to a bill to bar construction unions and employers from requiring all employees to join a union and pay dues if a majority votes to organize. The bill, HB 582, is sponsored by Rep. Courtney Curtis, D-Berkeley.

----- Our earlier story

State Rep. Courtney Curtis, left, and St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, right, speak a press conference last year. Curtis is sponsoring "right to work" legislation aimed at construction unions, which he contends haven't done enough to bring minori
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to having a “big tent” for its members, Missouri Democrats have talked the talk – and walked the walk. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1:50 p.m. Mon., April 28)

After two weeks of vigorous lobbying, Republican leaders in the Missouri House acknowledge that they have yet to obtain the extra four votes needed to send to the state Senate a measure to put a "right-to-work" proposal on the August ballot.

“I’m not in the habit of bringing up votes unless the votes are secured,’’ said House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, in an interview late last week.  

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

After cruising on the Rhine in Germany for the past couple of weeks, Jo Mannies rejoins Jason Rosenbaum and Chris McDaniel for the podcast.

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