'Right to Work' Off the Table -- For Now, Missouri Republican Says

August 9, 2018

By Kurt Erickson and Jack Suntrup

The defeat of a Republican-led bid to make Missouri a “right to work” state Tuesday probably means the issue will be off the table for at least a year, some GOP lawmakers say.

Rep. Bill White of Joplin, who won the GOP primary for an open Senate seat representing southwestern Missouri, said he did not expect legislative leaders to push for the issue after it was dumped by voters in a bipartisan 67-percent-to-32 percent result.

“I will probably file my right-to-work bill next year, but it is not going to go to the floor,” said White, who favors the measure. “I do not anticipate it moving beyond a committee hearing.”

Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, who had committed to advocating for the law when he took office June 1, was silent Wednesday on whether he would push for the Legislature to make another run at the measure.

In his first statement on the crushing outcome, issued 22 hours after the polls closed, Parson said, “Last night, the people of Missouri voiced their opinion on Proposition A. However, I am still absolutely optimistic about the future of Missouri and convinced that there are significant and exciting opportunities to come.”

Parson pledged to work across party lines to bring economic growth to the state on infrastructure and workforce development — “areas that I firmly believe we can find common ground to make lasting impacts for future generations of Missourians.”

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