Let's Talk Business: Right to Work

Apr 30, 2017

On Monday, Feb. 6, Missouri became the 28th state to pass Right to Work legislation.

Right to Work has long been a controversial issue in Missouri. It nearly became law a few years ago, but the legislature was unable to overturn Governor Nixon’s veto. With the election of a Republican governor, it was not surprising to see this legislation quickly pass both houses and become law.

In the months since, we have been approached by two manufacturers that currently have operations in other states. They both indicated that since Missouri is set to become a Right to Work state, they would like to open another facility in the Cape Girardeau area.

We are still in early stages of this recruitment process, but this could potentially bring hundreds of jobs to our region. For those of us in economic development, Right to Work has always been a competitiveness issue. It’s impossible to know how many businesses passed us up over the years simply because we couldn’t check that box. And we’re encouraged to see that hurdle moving behind us.

Unfortunately though, after a strong pro-business start to the legislative session and several bills moving through the House, the Missouri Senate has nearly ground to a halt. We hoped for much more, but at this point the legislature will be lucky to complete the budget. We’ve seen gridlock and fighting before, but it’s especially discouraging this year and I, for one, expect and we certainly deserve better out of Jefferson City.