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Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: More testimony on Ohio's "anti-protest" bill; and we'll take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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New Year, New Attempt at "Right to Work" Legislation in MO

PHOTO: Right-to-work legislation is being debated at the state Capitol, but it could be for voters to decide in 2014. Photo courtesy of Progress Missouri
PHOTO: Right-to-work legislation is being debated at the state Capitol, but it could be for voters to decide in 2014. Photo courtesy of Progress Missouri
January 14, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - In this new session, Missouri lawmakers have gone right to work on "right-to-work," legislation that would ban mandatory union membership as a condition for employment. It's a hot topic that's been debated before, but this time could be decided by the people of the state.

Supporters of the legislation, including Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, say it would make Missouri a more attractive place to do business. But according to Sean Soendker Nicholson, spokesman for Progress Missouri, there isn't any proof to back up that claim.

"For the working people of Missouri this is absolutely the wrong way to go," he declared. "The biggest and the most important reason to oppose these so-called right-to-work bills is how they will impact the wages and the quality of life for Missourians."

Republican leaders in the Senate don't share Jones' enthusiasm for the measure, which has been debated for at least six years in Missouri. Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has said he would veto the bill, though lawmakers could bypass Nixon by referring the measure to the ballot.

Soendker Nicholson said he feels confident that if that were to happen, the people of the state would vote it down, because he doesn't think there's much popular support for right-to-work.

"These attacks on working people in the middle class are driven by CEOs who are shipping jobs overseas while they're looking for tax breaks and tax handouts for their corporations."

24 states - including six which border Missouri - currently have right-to-work legislation in place.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO