There is evidence that right-to-work laws—or, more broadly, the pro-business policies offered by right-to-work states—matter for economic growth. In research published in 2000, economist Thomas Holmes of the University of Minnesota compared counties close to the border between states with and without right-to-work laws (thereby holding constant an array of factors related to geography and climate). He found that the cumulative growth of employment in manufacturing (the traditional area of union strength prior to the rise of public-employee unions) in the right-to-work states was 26 percentage points greater than that in the non-right-to-work states.Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Missouri House, Rep. Steve Tilley (R), has indicated that right-to-work is not a priority in this legislative session. As Evans at 24thState.com has pointed out, the main topic of this past Saturday's gathering of Tea Party groups from around the Show Me State was right-to-work, so it's odd that Tilley would be indifferent to the issue.
Politically this doesn't make any sense for the Speaker. If right-to-work is going to be stopped, let the Democrats in the Senate filibuster it or Governor Nixon (D) veto it. For Tilley to dither over right-to-work only makes sense if he's trying to shore up his RINO base or alienate Tea Party conservatives in the next election. I've commented before on Speaker Tilley's poor judgement. We see it here again.