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Senate Special Committee to Investigate Governor's Order

September 5, 2001
By: Anna Nichols
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Senate Special Committee investigation of Gov. Bob Holden's collective bargaining order begins Thursday.

The committee will meet for the first time Thursday at 2 p.m.

The Senate's Republican leadership set up the committee to investigate Gov. Bob Holden's executive order that unions the right to seek fees from non-union state workers.

Democrats refused to name any members to the committee.

The broad goal for this committee is to "lay the greatest possible information before the public," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, who appointed the senators from both parties to the committee.

This is an investigation into whether the governor is "legislating by executive order," Kinder said. Expansion of union rights in state government has died in the legislature the last several decades.

Holden issued his union executive order this summer. Kinder charges the governor does not have that power.

When Democrats refused to name their three members to the seven-member committee, Kinder picked them on his own.

St. Louis County Democrat Sen. Wayne Goode said he was surprised to be included on the committee.

Kinder said he chose Goode and Sen. Ed Quick, D-Liberty, because they are "champions of the policy." Kinder said he wants "broad participation" from both parties to cover the issue from both sides. Kinder said he named Sen. Danny Staples, D-Eminence, to the committee also because of his favorable stance on collective bargaining.

Sen. John Russell, R-Lebanon, will chair the committee. Republicans Larry Rohrbach, David Klarich, and John Louden complete the committee's roster.

Goode said he would be happy to serve on the committee if the purpose is "to see what the state should do to implement the executive order and make it work well for state employees and for the state as an employer."

On the other hand, Goode would not be interested in the committee if its purpose is to "beat up on what the governor did," he said.