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Politically Speaking: Speaker Diehl Details How 'Right To Work' Passed In House

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

(Click here to read more about the debate.)

“Right to work” has been a priority of business groups for decades, but it has never come close to reaching the legislative finish line. Thursday’s vote marked the first time it’s ever passed a chamber of the Missouri General Assembly.

Still, Burlison’s legislation faces an uphill climb in the Missouri Senate – especially since the chamber’s Democratic members have promised to filibuster the measure. Nixon, a Democrat, is almost certain to veto any “right to work” bill.

During the show, Diehl spoke about why the House used Burlison’s bill and the further obstacles the bill may have in reaching Nixon’s desk. He also responded to criticisms of the measure – including that it would incentivize “freeloading” and potentially lower wages for workers across the state.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

Follow John Diehl on Twitter: @johndiehljr

Music: "The Eraser" by Thom Yorke

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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