JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The right-to-work initiative petition has officially prevailed and will be appearing on the November 2018 ballot.
More than 300,000 signatures were gathered and presented in an effort to put SB 19, also known as the “right-to-work” law, in the hands of Missouri’s voters during the next general election on November 6, 2018.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and his office last week confirmed that the necessary number was met, validating 250,327 of the unprecedented 310,567 signatures gathered from all 114 counties in the state.
“We’re pleased to hear Secretary Ashcroft’s announcement that the referendum on so-called ‘right-to-work’ has been certified,” Mike Louis, Missouri AFL-CIO President, said. “The certification included qualification of all eight congressional districts and a total signature count of 250,327, nearly three times the amount needed. This historic moment reflects the overwhelming opposition to this harmful policy that will only help dark money politicians and their greedy CEO backers at the expense of middle-class families. Right-to-work is WRONG. Missouri voters will now have the final say on this issue in the November 2018 election.”
As such, Missouri voters will see the following language on their ballots in November of next year:
Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right-to-Work”) as passed by the general assembly in 2017, which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rata (fair-share); make any activity which violates employees’ rights illegal and ineffective; allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate employees’ rights; and which shall not apply to union agreements entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19?
State and local government entities expect no costs or savings.
The certification of the signatures marks yet another victory for the opponents of right-to-work, though the battle now turns to campaigning to the voters.
“This certification announcement is great news. It gives me faith in our democracy,” said Shelley Hoffman, a retired teacher from St. Charles. “The people have the power to fight back against dark money politicians and greedy CEOs who are trying to force their agenda on Missouri workers and their families and weaken our freedom. Right-to-work is wrong. Missouri voters will now have the opportunity to exercise their right to a citizen’s veto to prevent right-to-work from being law in our state. It’ll be “No” in November for me.”
“The certification of the referendum on so-called right-to-work is an important step for middle-class Missouri families,” said Bobby Dicken, an electrician from Poplar Bluff. “Right-to-work will drive down wages and fail to create jobs. Other states that have these harmful laws have household incomes that are an average of $8000 less per year than states without right-to-work laws. Taking $8,000 from Missouri families is wrong, will hurt Missouri businesses and our economy. I’ll be voting NO.”
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.