By Kevin Murphy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - A bid to make Missouri the 26th U.S. state with a law that stops workers from being required to join a union or pay dues failed on Wednesday when state representatives could not muster enough votes to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto.
The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the Democratic governor's veto of the "right-to-work" bill. The final vote was 96-63 in favor of the measure.
"Today's bipartisan action by the legislature to uphold my veto of this divisive, anti-worker bill is a victory for workers, families and businesses here in Missouri and across the country," Nixon said in a statement.
Nixon had said the bill, which was heavily opposed by labor unions, would have cut wages and hurt the middle class.
Supporters of the bill said it would have attracted business and encouraged economic growth in Missouri.
"As a state that doesn't support right-to-work protections, Missouri will continue to be overlooked for job creation and business expansion opportunities," Daniel Mehan, president and chief executive officer of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement.
Wisconsin was the most recent state to adopt such a law, voting earlier in 2015. Similar laws were approved in Michigan and Indiana in 2012.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by David Bailey and Peter Cooney)