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Anti-Union Bills Still Percolating in Midwest

(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)

From Missouri to Pennsylvania to D.C., anti-union "right-to-work" laws are still being proposed and debated. Michigan workers continue to fight their law in the courts weeks before it is set to take effect, while workers in nearby states remain prepared for similar legislation to emerge. Meanwhile, an "anti-right-to-work" bill moved forward in Vermont — legislation that would require all workers who receive benefits thanks to a union to pay their fair share.

A standing room only crowd was in attendance as a Missouri House committee debated a "right-to-work" bill. [AP]

Despite being vetoed twice in recent years, the Missouri bill this year could skip the governor entirely and go straight to the voters. [Missouri Watchdog]

Two conservative Missouri lawmakers said that the chances of the bill becoming law during the 2013 session were "slim." [Springfield News-Leader]

In neighboring Kansas, already a "right-to-work" state, the state House voted in favor of a bill that would bar public employee unions from automatically deducting dues for political activity. [Topeka Capital-Journal]

An editorial in the Kansas City Star blasted both the bills in Missouri and Kansas as "pointless attacks on unions," noting that some of the language of the anti-union bills originated with the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). [Kansas City Star]

Pennsylvania State Rep. Darryl Metcalfe — an ALEC member — is one of the chief backers of his state's "right-to-work" bill. [Center for Media and Democracy]

In Iowa, House Joint Resolution 1, which seeks to add the language in Iowa's anti-dues law to the state Constitution, advanced in a House subcommittee. [Ames Tribune]

Chris Savage of Eclectablog on the legal fight underway in Michigan to have their "right-to-work" law invalidated. [AFL-CIO]

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a national "right-to-work" law. [Daily Kos]

Taking a different approach, Vermont's state Senate passed a "fair share bill" by a vote of 24-5. [VT Digger]

 

Read the full Dispatch from February 11, 2013 here.