The legislative session came to an end this week, and the major news (besides the speaker’s text messages) was the passage of right to work by both the House and the Senate. As expected, the JeffCo delegation was opposed to this measure (which first passed the House in February), with one exception.
In the Senate, Paul Wieland and Gary Romine, who both represent parts of Jefferson County, were two of only four GOP senators to vote no.
The opponents included Republican Rep. John McCaherty, of High Ridge, who said the legislation amounts to government intrusion in the private sector and interferes with the rights of business owners to reach contracts with unions.
“When you knock on their door next time, don’t tell them that you kept government out of their life,” McCaherty told colleagues.
“We’re not talking about people … who gets checks from the government, we’re not talking about people who take advantage of the system or people who are illegals — we’re talking about people who just want to get up and go to work and be left alone,” said Rep. John McCaherty, R-High Ridge. “Now somehow we believe in this body that they know better than what that person has chosen.”
Rep. Shane Roden said the following in his weekly newsletter:
Despite my best efforts HB 116, Right to Work passed the Missouri House. The bill will now move on to the Governor’s desk. The Governor is expected to veto it, and I can assure everyone that if he does I plan to uphold his veto and continue to fight against to Right to Work and other union killing legislation. Right to Work is wrong for Missouri!
Rep. Rob Vescovo voted for right to work, perhaps the first JeffCo representative ever to do so. This prompted Democrat Robert Butler to announce his candidacy for Vescovo’s House seat.
Vescovo defeated Butler in 2014 with 60% of the vote.
Here’s how a few other bills by local representatives fared this session:
- Vescovo’s “Critchlow Law” limiting the use of paid administrative lead for government employees passed the House 118-35 but died in a Senate committee.
- Rep. Dan Shaul’s bill outlawing local plastic bag bans was amended by the Senate to also include a provision preventing cities from raising their minimum wage higher than that set by the state. It has passed both houses and awaits action from the governor.
- McCaherty’s bill to stop the state from considering how much money a bidder would return to Missouri if awarded a contract to run a licensing office passed both houses and awaits action from the governor.