Right To Work

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The first full week of the Missouri’s General Assembly is officially underway, and already the focus has shifted away from the expected topics – tax cuts and Medicaid expansion – and landed smack dab in the midst of a potentially bruising battle over labor rights.

The fight offers the potential of overshadowing other legislative issues for weeks, if not months.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon.

On this week’s podcast, Jason and Jo discuss the roadblocks to getting “right to work” on the ballot and why upcoming campaign finance reports matter. For the rest of the show, the Politically Speaking crew talks with Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City.

During the show, Barnes described his proposal to expand Medicaid – which some see as an alternative to the straight-up Medicaid expansion that Gov. Jay Nixon supports. Barnes also discussed his efforts to find out more about Missouri’s unsuccessful bid to lure Boeing’s 777X to Missouri.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A bill to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state was the subject of a hearing in Jefferson City Monday.

As written, the so-called "Freedom to Work Act" (House Bill 1099) would bar workers from being required to "engage in or cease engaging in specified labor organization practices" as a condition for employment.  It's sponsored by State Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is predicting that voters will get a chance to decide whether to make Missouri the 25th state to enact a right-to-work law.

Kinder said while attending a Chicago conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council that he believes fellow Republicans in the Legislature will refer the measure to the ballot next year.

The measure would prohibit union membership or fees from being a condition of employment in Missouri.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.



The St. Louis branch of the NAACP is teaming up with local labor union groups to fight against efforts in Jefferson City to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state.

Chapter President Adolphus Pruitt says African-Americans are more likely to be union members than any other ethnicities in the United States, so the partnership makes sense.

“Right-to-work is a problem that exists across the country," Pruitt said.  "It’s trying to rear its ugly head up here in Missouri, (and) we’re gonna find a way to fight it back.”

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Labor union members from across Missouri descended on the State Capitol today, hoping to convince lawmakers to defeat bills they say are anti-worker.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate spent a few hours Wednesday debating legislation that would bar labor unions for public workers from withholding money from public employees’ paychecks.

The so-called "Paycheck Protection" bill would also require consent from public employees before labor unions can use fees and dues for political purposes.  State Senator Paul LeVota (D, Independence) says the bill should be called “paycheck deception."

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would eliminate the prevailing wage requirement in Missouri was heard Tuesday by a State Senate committee.

The state calculates various wages that are to be paid in each county and in St. Louis for construction trades on building projects.  The sponsor, State Senator Dan Brown (R, Rolla), says eliminating prevailing wage requirements would give smaller businesses outside of St. Louis and Kansas City a fair shot at landing construction contracts.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s Missouri legislative session is well underway.

Among the topics up for consideration in Jefferson City are right-to-work legislation and voter-ID requirements.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin about those topics and others.