JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Lawmakers on Thursday made Missouri one signature away from becoming the nation’s 28th right-to-work state. If the governor, as expected, signs the bill into law, it will be the first time in U.S. history that more than half of the work force lives in right-to-work states.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed the bill 100-59. The Senate already had approved the bill, which goes to Gov. Eric Greitens for final approval.
Right-to-work makes it illegal for unions to force workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. Supporters claim right-to-work spurs business growth and creates jobs and will keep Missouri competitive with fellow right-to-work states such as Indiana and Michigan.
Opponents dispute those claims and call it an attack upon unions.
The Republican-dominated Missouri Legislature has passed right-to-work legislation before, but it was vetoed by former Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
Greitens, a Republican, was elected in November and has made right-to-work one of his priorities.
The bill was passed the same day Greitens introduced a $27.6 billion budget with a $456 million deficit.