Fresh debate over "right-to-work" legislation arises

Jan 30, 2012

Legislation to make Missouri a "right-to-work" state is again coming up in state Senate.

A senate panel last week endorsed two bills that would make it a misdemeanor to require workers to pay union fees as a condition of employment.

One of the two proposals, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, would go before voters if it passes the Legislature. The other would go to the governor's desk.

Business groups say such laws could help the state attract more jobs, while unions say the measures would allow people to get benefits without paying for their representation in bargaining talks.

The legislation in Missouri comes as Indiana appears close to becoming a "right-to-work" state. A Republican bill there passed the House and is headed to the Senate.