Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Outnumbered Michigan Democrats start longshot bid to repeal right-to-work laws in Legislature

By Tim Martin/M Live

LANSING, MI – In what likely will turn out to be a largely symbolic move, Michigan Democrats who are outnumbered in the Legislature say they are submitting bills that would repeal the state’s new right-to-work laws.
Chances of passage in the Legislature? Likely none, since it would require the blessing of Republican leadership that just endorsed right-to-work to get a hearing or a vote. But the bill introductions serve as a reminder that Democrats are starting the 2013-14 legislative session still upset about the right-to-work laws that were signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder late last year.
Michigan is becoming the nation’s 24th right-to-work state, with laws that prohibit requiring workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Republicans hold a 26-11 edge over Democrats in the Senate with one vacancy. The GOP holds a 59-51 edge over Democrats in the House.
Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, announced Thursday that he has submitted for introduction bills that would repeal right-to-work laws. Democrats are upset that the right-to-work bills were approved last month without public hearings on the legislation.
“The people of Michigan were completely shut out of the legislative process with this regulation,” Hopgood said in a statement. “I will continue to stand with Michigan workers in the fight to repeal this misguided legislation.”
House Democrats are working on similar legislation.
Supporters and opponents of right-to-work disagree about where the majority of the public stands on the laws. They also disagree about its potential effects on the Michigan economy.
Hopgood said his legislation will be Senate Bills 95 and 96. The bills weren’t yet available on the Michigan Legislature website as of Thursday evening.
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