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MO “Paycheck Deception” Bill Likely; House, Senate Displaying Veto-Proof Majorities

Gov. Nixon's support for workers will likely be overridden by conservative MO lawmakers

Gov. Nixon’s support for workers will likely be overridden by conservative MO lawmakers

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The Missouri House of Representatives passed a “paycheck protection” bill on Friday by a 109-49 margin.  The anti-union bill, commonly referred to by workers’ rights advocates as “paycheck deception,” prohibits unions from deducting fair share fees from public sector paychecks. 

A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon in 2013.  The 109 votes in the House are enough to override a potential Nixon veto this time around, as are the 23 votes which passed the Senate version of the bill.  

The bill would only to public sector workers, exempting first responders such as police officers and EMT’s.  This carve-out is typical of controversial public sector bills as the Republicans who desire to pass them also aim to maintain their relationships with these more frequently right-leaning unions.

All Democrats in the House aside from Rep. Courtney Curtis of Ferguson, voted against the measure.  Curtis claimed he voted in favor of “paycheck protection” because of what he views as a lack of minority inclusion in unions.  Seven Republicans, on the other hand, broke ranks with their party to vote against the bill

Among those who testified against the bill was Rep. Bill Otto (D-Maryland Heights), a member of the state’s air traffic controllers union.  During testimony he claimed the bill is a “form of deception to weaken the working class”:

“This is an attack on workers,” said Otto. “It’s an absolute attack on teachers. I believe it’s an attack on organized labor in this country, in this state. And I don’t think it’s what we want to put out there. … I don’t understand it.”

The bill could be made moot following a decision in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, which would require union members to opt-in to paycheck deductions.  The tide of the case turned with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, however, and faces a far less certain future.


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