Right to Work is a controversial issue here in Missouri. If such a law is passed, it would make it illegal for unions to require their members to pay dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Recently, ABC 17 News sat down with Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins, who broke down why he supports right to work. For ABC 17 News This Week, Missouri House Minority Leader Jacob Hummel started the conversation by explaining why he thinks right to work is not right for Missouri.
This is the transcript of our conversation:
Hummel: I think if you look at every single state that has enacted Right to Work, wages of employees across the state, whether union or non-union, have gone down. I think that is the attempt by businesses in the state to enact this legislation. Uh, plain and simple they want to drive down wages across Missouri.
Parker: That is certainly the argument. Um, now this was defeated back in 1978, I believe, when it (that’s correct) went before voters. (Yes it did). So what are the chances of it getting in front of voters again?
Hummel: I think that at this point in time right now, we’re not to a point where that’s going to happen this year. The bill that was passed out of the House a few days ago went to the Senate. It was strictly a house bill, um it was not a referendum that would go before the voters. I don’t know that the Senate has the appetite to push something like this, especially when the vote was nowhere near an override number for a veto from the Governor.
Parker: Another important uphill battle is Medicaid expansion. Republicans and of course the control, the General Assembly say that’s not going to happen.
Hummel: That seems to be the case and it’s very disappointing. I mean we talk about job creation in Missouri, especially in the Legislature all the time. This is a proposal that would draw down Missouri tax payer dollars from the federal government, money that we are owed back, back to our state, create twenty four thousand jobs, dollars, out three hundred thousand Missourians without access to health care, on the health care rolls. There is a study done by the University of Missouri that this would create an eight million dollar investment from the federal government and again these are our tax dollars and spur an additional thirteen billion dollars’ worth of private investment whether it’s for infrastructure for a hospital, more patient beds and just the building out of our healthcare system.
Parker: What about the argument that it will cost taxpayers more in the long run?
Hummel: Well, right now the match is 60/40. The government and state splitting a sixty forty match. This would eventually become a ninety ten split. Where the state only picks up ten percent of the cost and the federal government picking up ninety percent of the cost. That seems like a great difference to what we have now. So I can’t really understand the argument.
Parker: So, you believe in it enough to push for it even though the Republicans have said it’s not going to happen.
Hummel: Absolutely. And I think it’s important to know for Missourian we are fighting for that. We are still fighting for them to have access to healthcare. Some of the arguments I have heard are it’s an urban issue or a rural issue and that’s just not the case. The vast majority of people this would help are poorer out state Missourians. It’s something we need to continue on. I won’t accept defeat. The argument has been that the system is broken. Well this system, the MO Health Net was created under a Republican governor, by a Republican house, Republican senate. This is their system that they put in place. And the argument is well we are not going to get Medicaid expansion until we fix the system. Well, it’s their system that they find is broken. So let’s go ahead and do it. We’ve also put forward a proposal to take it to the people. Put it on the ballot. We have yet to receive a hearing on that but I’d be happy to do that if they are too afraid to vote on it themselves, I’d be happy to put it before the voters.
Parker: Leader Hummel, thank you very much for joining us, we appreciate it.
Hummel: Thank you.
Parker: Thank you for your time.
Hummel: No problem.