The House perfected HB 1770 (Labor Organizations). HB 1770 specifies that, except in instances when these provisions conflict with or are preempted by federal law, no person as a condition or continuation of employment can be required to: 1) become or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization, 2) pay dues, fees, assessments, or other charges to a labor organization, and 3) pay to any charity or third party any equivalent amount in lieu of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges required of a member of a labor organization. Essentially this bill will give workers the ability to decide whether or not they want to join a union, and which union they would like to join. Public sectors already have this choice. For example, teachers can choose whether or not to join a union and if they want to join the national union or a more local union. This bill still needs one more vote to be passed out of the House. HB 1770 will only go into effect if Missourians vote for it in the next election.
HB 1594 (Volunteer Labor on Public Work Projects) was perfected and passed. This bill specifies that a person who agrees in writing to volunteer his or her labor without pay on a public works project shall not be considered to be employed on the project and is not subject to the prevailing hourly rate of wages requirement.
HB 1371 (Missouri Criminal Code) was perfected and passed. This bill revises the Missouri Criminal Code by 1) creating a new class of misdemeanor and felony, 2) strengthens punishments for assault crimes, 3) deals more harshly with habitual drunk drivers who endanger others on the road, 4) gives prosecutors more tools to put child molesters in prison, and 5) creates a stair-step approach for drug-related crimes.
HB 1490 (Common Core Implementation) was perfected and passed this week. The bill, restricting the implementation of Common Core, was significantly water down, but is probably the best that can be achieved given the opposition it faced on our side of the aisle. The amended bill will allow Missouri school districts to proceed with Common Core for the 2014-2015 year, but will protect the districts and teachers from being penalized if students perform poorly on assessments during that transition period. The bill establishes a work group made up of parents, elected officials, and education professionals that will work to develop Missouri’s own academic performance standards to present to the State Board of Education by October of next year. By the 2016-2017 school year, the State Board of Education would be responsible for putting these new standards in place, superseding Common Core.
Representative White voted “yes” on all these bills.