Missouri Senate committee considers union legislation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | A push to make Missouri a “right-to-work” state has started before an overflowing Senate committee room.

Senators are considering legislation that would bar workers from being required to pay dues or fees to labor organizations. Local prosecutors and the attorney general’s office would be responsible for investigating alleged violations.

Supporters say the bill would boost economic development and help Missouri attract new businesses. But critics contend the change would not necessarily attract new businesses and could drive down workers’ wages and living standard.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations told senators Tuesday that Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration opposes the legislation. Representatives from businesses and unions also testified Tuesday.