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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

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 is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.
Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.