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Right-to-work bill advances in Missouri House

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Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A Missouri House panel has voted to advance a right-to-work bill to bar mandatory union fees.

House Economic Development Committee members voted 8-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Kearney Republican Rep. T.J. Berry voted present. He told The Associated Press that residents in his district are split on the issue and he’s also waiting for results of a constituent survey to gauge constituent opinions.

Democratic St. Louis Rep. Doug Beck tried to add a requirement that the right-to-work measure get voter approval. The Republican-led committee voted his proposal down 9-4 along party lines.

Right to work could come up for debate on the House floor as soon as Jan. 18. It has support from Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. GOP legislative leaders say it’s a priority this session.