As has been the case for several years, all state senators and representatives from the Tri-Lakes Area are republicans. But as the 2013 session is set to begin this month, they’re now part of a super majority in the state.
Senator David Sater
and representatives Jeff Justus, Don Phillips and Lyle Rowland are all part of
called “veto-proof” majority, which would give the party the power to overturn any of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes.
“We’ve been after the right to work in the state of Missouri for a while,” Rowland said. “I think we have an opportunity this year to get it done.”
Proposed “right-to-work” legislation aims to prohibit labor union agreements that require employee membership and payment of union dues.
Proponents of such legislation in the state have argued it will make Missouri competitive with bordering states that already have right-to-work laws.
“The rumor I’m hearing is we’re going to allow the Senate to make the first move,” Rowland said. “The past two years we’ve had trouble getting anything through the Senate. We’re hoping the election has changed that.”
The party picked up four seats in the House in November’s election, putting 110 Republicans in the chamber. That number is currently 109, however, after the recent resignation of Don Ruzicka, of Mount Vernon, who was appointed to the Missouri Probation and Parole Board.
The minimum amount for a supermajority is 109. The Senate already held a supermajority, which it retained.
However, just because the total number of Republicans allows for a “veto-proof” majority, that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to pass whatever legislation they want, according to local representatives.
“Right now, we would need 100 percent of members to agree on something,” Rowland said. “That’s very difficult.”
Justus, a freshman representative in the Branson area, also noted the difficulty of obtaining unanimous approval.
“A lot of the freshmen talked about the veto-proof majority,” Justus said. “But we’re not always going to agree on everything.
“As a representative, I’ve got to do what I believe is best for the district and for the state.”
He said legislators shouldn’t let a supermajority keep them from focusing on making compromises.
“Hopefully we can get some things done here,” he said.
Rowland said the governor has regularly rejected legislation he believes would improve Missouri’s economy.
“We’re probably going to go after some legislation to help business that the governor has vetoed in the past,” Rowland said.