Missouri lawmakers put right-to-work legislation on the fast track
Wasting no time, the Missouri General Assembly is taking action on right-to work legislation. The Missouri House Committee on Economic Development today heard five bills that would protect Missouri workers from being forced to join and financially support unions, making Missouri a right-to-work state. A Senate committee is expected to hear similar legislation on January 11.
“It’s simple economics. If you make it more attractive for employers to provide jobs, you will see an increase in opportunities and economic growth,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Data proves that right-to-work policy increases job opportunities and prosperity in the states that enjoy this freedom.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, right-to-work states added 8.6 percent more new jobs in the last decade (2005–2015) compared to non-right-to-work states, which grew employment by only 5 percent. During that same time, GDP in right-to-work states increased by 15.3 percent, while non-right-to-work states only grew by 11.9 percent.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis also debunks claims that right-to-work policy harms wages. Wage growth in both right-to-work and non-right-to-work states was exactly the same during the last decade, increasing by 7.7 percent from 2005-2015.
“Like any other business, unions should have to earn member support rather than relying on a government mandate to keep them in existence,” Mehan said. “Employees should be given the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to be part of a union and this legislation gives them that right. Right-to-work does not eliminate unions, but it does make unions more accountable to their members and prospective members.”
Right-to-work legislation was passed in the 2015 Legislative Session but was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon. Gov. Eric Greitens has stated that he would sign right-to-work legislation into law. Missouri would join the majority of states that have become right-to-work, including most recently Kentucky and New Hampshire.
Making Missouri a right-to-work state is a priority of the Missouri Chamber’s 15-year strategic plan, Missouri 2030. A Gallup survey of more than 1,000 Missouri CEOs, commissioned by the Missouri Chamber, showed that the majority of Missouri employers support becoming a right-to-work state.
The House Bills are:
House Bill 42 – Sponsor: White, Bill (Rep-161)
House Bill 91 – Sponsor: Rehder, Holly (Rep-148)
House Bill 131 – Sponsor: Lant, Bill (Rep-159)
House Bill 265 – Sponsor: Brattin, Rick (Rep-055)
House Bill 314 – Sponsor: Davis, Charlie (Rep-162)
The Senate Bills are:
Senate Bill 19 – Sponsor: Brown, Dan (District 16)