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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Capitol wrap-up: Week of Feb. 16

Right to work legislation passes House

A piece of “right to work” legislation, House Bill 1053, sponsored by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson, passed Feb. 10. A second similar bill, House Bill 1617, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, was referred to the House Rules Committee. The bills would ban labor contracts that require all employees to pay union fees.

Under current law, unions are allowed to levy fees against workers who are not union members but who work under a collective bargaining agreement that allows such fees. HB 1053 says a person cannot be required to become part of a labor union as a condition of employment or to pay any charity or third party organization an equivalent amount in dues or fees.

HB 1617 would prevent labor unions from collecting dues without annual authorization and would prevent labor unions from using funds for campaign contributions or political activity without annual permission of union members.

Kelly introduces marijuana bill

On Jan. 29, Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, introduced House Bill 1659, which would allow adults to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana. The bill would also set up taxed and regulated marijuana commerce. The bill is based on the law Colorado voters passed in 2012.

If the bill passes, adults 21 and older would be allowed to grow up to eight plants and possess up to 16 ounces of marijuana per household. The bill would also establish a process for allowing medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation for those under 21 and allow the cultivation of industrial hemp.

The bill was read a second time on Jan. 30, and it was referred to the state committee on crime prevention and public safety on Feb. 11.

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