Bipartisan opposition blocked the veto override of two dangerous bills in the Sept. 11 veto session of the Missouri Legislature – Paycheck Deception (Senate Bill 29) and the radical tax reform bill (House Bill 253).
Paycheck Deception would have taken away the political voice of Missouri's workers such as teachers, nurses and other middle class Missourians.
The bill would have prevented state or local governments, including school districts, from allowing union dues to be automatically withheld from paychecks. It would have required each employee to give annual written permission to their union to collect dues.
House Bill 253 (HB 253) , a radical tax "reform" bill that would have left the Missouri budget with an estimated $700 million shortfall and forced cuts to education, health care, and other public services such as transportation, was also defeated.
HB 253 would have substantially cut income taxes for corporations, but would have raised everyday costs on items like prescription drugs for Missouri’s seniors and forced layoffs in school districts across the state.
A GROUP EFFORT
Mike, Louis, secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO, said it was a group effort that enabled legislators to sustain Gov. Nixon’s vetoes of the dangerous measures in the face of a Republican-led legislative override.
“The first thing I want to do is thank all the unions and the lobbyists for their hard work and dedication,” Louis said.
“In the senate, I would like to thank the Democratic caucus, who all stood with us on SB 29. And thank Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau), who voted with us. I would also like to thank Sen. Gary Romine (R-Farmington), who supported us” by walking out of the session.
“All session long, during regular session and over the summer, the House Democrats and their leadership have been great to work with. And the friendly Republican representatives that we’ve been working with have been outstanding. I couldn’t be more thrilled about the outcome of the vote on SB29, because it was the right thing to do for the public sector employees in this state.”
State Senator and President of the Missouri State Building Trades Council Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors) said labor had done well
“We sustained the Governor’s veto on HB 253 and paycheck deception and guns – the real big ticket items. HB 253 would have devastated this state. It was just bad policy.”
MORE WORK TO BE DONE
Louis and Walsh were quick to point out that the next legislative session is unlikely to be any friendlier to working families.
“Just because the veto session is over doesn’t mean the AFL-CIO’s work is done,” Louis said. “Working with the coalitions that we’ve built through the Unity Table, Jobs With Justice and Progress Missouri, we are moving forward continuing with the message that we will do whatever it takes to protect the integrity of union members in this state and working diligently to fight off the continued attacks on labor including right-to-work (for less) efforts, more paycheck deception efforts and any other attacks on our core issues.”
Walsh said it comes down to a matter of principles.
“It’s always going to be a battle,” Walsh said. “But we have proven time and again that we’re up to the challenge and with solidarity we can prevail. Until we can change the dynamics of the two legislative bodies we’re going to have this battle.”