Government & Business
Ed believes that government is frequently out of touch with the conservative principles of Missouri. He knows that our communities will grow and flourish when the farmer and small business person are free to operate without unreasonable restrictions. Too many in government have either misunderstood or opposed the American spirit of independence. They have replaced independenc e with dependence as the American way. Government must provide opportunity, not handouts. Business and workers, not government programs, are the key to a sound future.
Redefining “Misconduct” in the Workplace
A measure to redefine the term “misconduct” was vetoed by the governor this year. Currently, misconduct includes a wanton or willful disregard of the employer’s interest and a disregard of standards of behavior the employer has the right to expect. Senate Bill 28 would have changed the standard to a knowing disregard of the interest and a knowing violation of the standards the employer expects. The legislation noted misconduct to include chronic absenteeism, tardiness, and unapproved absences following a written warning.
We’ve heard cases of clear misconduct — ranging from repeatedly falling asleep on the job to using profane language in front of school children — and those individuals are still obtaining unemployment benefits by the state. This is disgusting and needs to be stopped. By tightening the definition of misconduct, we would’ve been able to weed out the dishonest individuals from the unemployment benefits system more effectively.
It’s estimated that SB 28 would have reduced Missouri’s debt by more than $500 million by avoiding payments to those who have used poor judgment while on the job and are now collecting unemployment. However, the governor decided to dismiss this proposition, and instead, has withheld critical funding from the FY 2014 budget for education, capital improvements, and other state services.
The goal of the bill was to restore integrity to Missouri’s unemployment benefits system. Too many people who are let go from their jobs due to irresponsible behavior are obtaining unemployment benefits. This is unfair to the honest people who really need those funds and Missouri taxpayers whose hard-earned dollars fund that system.
Protecting Missourians’ Paychecks from Unauthorized Use
Paycheck protection legislation was also rejected this year by the executive office. This bill was all about putting more authority in the hands of the employee, particularly with regards to paychecks. Senate Bill 29 would have allowed public employee labor unions to withhold fees from a public employee’s paycheck only upon his or her written consent.
The legislation would have also required the employee’s annual consent for certain unions to use fees and dues for political purposes. If you found out that your money was going toward a political purpose without your approval — particularly a cause with which you had a moral objection — you would likely be upset. Your paychecks should not be used to fund a public union’s political gain or personal motives. Employees deserve the right to decide what to do with their money, plain and simple. A better step would have been to make Missouri a “Freedom-to-Work” state, but due to the political power of special interest labor unions, that improvement may have to be done with Missouri’s initiative petition process.