Missouri lawmakers take first steps toward right to work

Generic map of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers are putting a right-to-work measure on a fast-track to passage with support from a new Republican governor.

House members within days of the session’s January start held a Tuesday committee hearing on right-to-work bills barring mandatory union fees. A Senate hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature for years has wanted to enact right to work. But it’s been blocked by former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Republican Gov. Eric Greitens’ support for the proposal means it likely will become law this year.

Still, union members, business groups and others for more than three hours argued the pros and cons of the proposal during a sometimes tense House hearing.

Proponents say the policy will bring businesses to Missouri. Opponents say it undermines unions and leads to lower wages.