Missouri Dem. Gov. Nixon Vetoes GOP ‘Paycheck Protection’ Bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—In a stinging rebuke to the Right Wing Republicans who control the Show Me State’s legislature, Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., vetoed their so-called “paycheck protection” bill, which applied to most public workers, on June 25.
            The measure, pushed by business and its allies, forced public sector unions to ask their members, individually, each year, not only whether they want to have union dues deducted from their paychecks, but also if they wanted any additional non-dues money to go to politics and lobbying.
            “The bill targets a single group of employees and imposes on them an unnecessary and encumbersome process,” Nixon said in his veto message.
            The Missouri paycheck protection bill, which unions call “paycheck deception,” is part of a nationwide effort by business groups, secretive Right Wing think tanks and their overwhelmingly Republican political puppets to trash workers and crush unions by – among other methods – robbing unions of money.
            The Right Wingers also know that if unions lack money for lobbying and politics, opposition to the pro-corporate agenda drops dramatically.
            The Missouri AFL-CIO, which strongly supported Nixon’s successful re-election bid last year, lobbied long and hard against the paycheck deception bill, SB29.  But the state legislature is lopsidedly Republican: 26-7 in the Senate and 106-57 in the House.
            Missouri state and local workers can now automatically withhold money from their paychecks for college savings accounts, 401(k) plans and deferred compensation, Nixon said.  And they don’t have to renew approval of the deductions every year.  They can also revoke them at any time.
            “But under this bill, public employees who are members of unions would be required to complete two separate written authorizations each year.  Singling out union dues for these processes serves no beneficial purpose.   Rather, the bill places unnecessary burdens upon public workers for the purposes of weakening labor organizations.”
            Just to make sure the GOP got the point, Nixon also said SB29 runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution.  Because it exempts unions of first responders – police officers, Fire Fighters and EMTs – from its paycheck protection structure, the measure breaks the Constitution’s equal protection clause, Nixon said.