Lawmakers End Session Without Right to Work, Paycheck Deception
In a big victory for workers, the Missouri Legislature ended its session in mid-May without putting right to work or paycheck deception on the ballot. Lawmakers from both parties opposed the anti-worker measures pushed by out-of-state millionaires, billionaires and other groups.
Both measures were top priorities of Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones and a small group of lobbyists from Washington, D.C. Jones billed “Paycheck Protection” legislation as another way to “skin the cat” to make Missouri a right-to-work state.
The goal was to impress shadowy D.C. groups with plenty of money to donate to his potential run for statewide office. Jones tried to hand control of Missouri's Statehouse over to one of America's most prominent corporate shills. It was only the strong bipartisan opposition to these anti-worker bills that prevented such a takeover.
This is a significant victory but there isn't much time to celebrate. Right to work and Paycheck Deception bills are expected back in Missouri. The next session will begin January 2015. This is a good time to redouble efforts to get involved to help elect legislators who support working families.
One of the main groups pushing for this legislation was ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.
In ALEC's own words, corporations have “a voice and a vote” on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state.
ALEC's corporate lobbyists met behind closed doors in Kansas City with state lawmakers from around the country recently. Teamsters and hundreds of workers rallied outside the meeting to expose the secret anti-worker agenda of the Koch-linked organization.
For many years, ALEC flew below everyone's radar, claiming to be a nonpartisan group and describing the money it spent on lawmaker vacations as “scholarships.” For the past few years, ALEC's secret lobbying has been exposed by unions and civil rights, civic, environmental and faith groups.