JEFFERSON CITY - Despite opposition from a chunk of 20 Republicans, the house passed a bill referred to by supporters as "paycheck protection" for public employees.
The bill would require labor unions to get annual written consent from public employees to withhold earnings from their paychecks, as well as require consent to use dues and fees to make political contributions.
Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, the bill's sponsor, said she spoke with three public employees from her district that fully supported the bill. But Rep. Genise Monticello, D-St. Louis County, said she personally spoke with more than 30 public employees who said they firmly opposed the legislation.
“Many union leaders pursue agendas their members do not support,” Rehder said about the bill earlier in the week. “Because of this, Missouri workers would be better served by giving them an annual option to choose if they want their dues spent on political purposes.”
A few other Democrats in opposition to the bill said it treats public employees as if they are "not intelligent enough to opt out of union dues on their own."
Another in opposition, Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, said there is nothing conservative about telling an adult that wants to enter into a contract that they can or cannot.
The bill does not apply to private sector workers or first responders.
Governor Nixon vetoed similar legislation last session, but Rehder's bill would go to the ballot for a vote from people of Missouri.
The vote of 83 "yes" to 69 "no" moved the bill to the Senate.