This Week in Missouri Politics – January 15, 2017

Rep. Holly Rehder joins This Week in Missouri Politics as host Scott Faughn’s special guest to discuss her right-to-work bill that will be debated on the floor next week. She outlines the benefits of right-to-work, why the issue is so contentious, and how it will make Missouri more competitive in attracting businesses.

“We are looking at Tennessee and Arkansas having the same positives we do… but they have right-to-work and so our economic development guys down in the bootheel tell us, ‘No, we weren’t looked at,’ ” she says.

She also discusses the House’s ethics reform efforts early in the session, why it’s important to restore voters’ confidence in government, and this year’s hopes for instituting a prescription drug monitoring program.

Two new guests join the opinion maker panel. St. Louis Post-Dispatch metro columnist Tony Messenger and St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies join longtime friends of the show Mark Dalton of the Carpenters Union and Republican political strategist David Barklage. They discuss whether the right-to-work bill is a matter of politics or party, and what exactly will come after that piece of legislation goes into statute.

“What will be interesting is if Republicans stop at the perceived pro-jobs things or if they go farther to kneecap the unions so the unions are unable to mount any kind of counter-insurgency or any other candidates in the future,” Barklage says.

They also discuss Donald Trump’s press conference snafus, how the press needs to address his presidency, and whether his popularity in Missouri will continue. They also take time to address the ethics changes in the Missouri State Capitol.

“There are Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, all sorts of folks talking about ethics, and one of the first bills that got a hearing is an ethics bill,” Messenger says. “That’s good for Jefferson City, that’s good for the state, but having sat through some of these ethics debates before, you got to read the bills really carefully.”

This episode of TWMP will air at 11:00 a.m. in the St. Louis area on ABC 30 KDNL, in the Kansas City area on 38 the Spot at 10:00 a.m. and in mid-Missouri on KRCG at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 18. The show is available online at 11:00 a.m. at twmp.tv.