It’s odd, but the coming anticipated era of compromise in Jefferson City is starting with a clear victory for the Democratic governor.
Missouri Republicans now have a two-thirds supermajority in both houses that gives the GOP enough strength — if it hangs together — to override any gubernatorial veto. But the first issue to test this strength will go Gov. Jay Nixon’s way.
Mr. Nixon opposes any sweeping right-to-work law that would prohibit the collection of union dues as a condition of employment. This issue passed the Michigan Legislature this week and will be signed by Michigan’s Republican governor. Proponents say the new law will give workers more choice and support economic growth.
The leadership of the Missouri House and Senate will not test Mr. Nixon on this; vote-counters in both parties think he would win a veto showdown because some Republicans would break ranks and oppose this big change.
And so comes the clearest understanding yet of how things will get done at the state Capitol in the next two years:
n Republicans must decide what is most important to them and find common ground between the House and Senate to accomplish those goals.
n Republican leaders and Mr. Nixon must work every day to find similar common ground on the issues that transcend politics.
We value economic growth, which we think requires a new spirit of support for job-creating businesses. No doubt, this will require Mr. Nixon to make some concessions on issues favored by the business community.
But we also see the need for long-term investments in education, work-force development and infrastructure. Factions of the Republican coalition will need to come to grips with the requirement for new funding sources to meet these needs.
All citizens should look forward to — even expect — substantive debates and constructive compromises that will lead us into a growth period for our state.