POLITICS

Don’t expect other states to go right-to-work soon

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

Over at National Review, John Fund has a handy rundown of the other states that where right-to-work advocates have  hoped to follow up on their success in Michigan but argues that nothing is likely to happen in any of them in the near-future.

Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire have Democratic governors who oppose the idea. Ohio Republicans  are still smarting from the smackdown them got over their attempt to enact union reforms in 2011. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he does want to push his luck any further after surviving a union-led recall attempt this summer. Pennsylvania Republicans are also apparently worried about a potential backlash.

Fund concludes that the success in Michigan was due to the unions overreaching by attempting to pass a state constitutional amendment this fall to prevent right-to-work. It backfired badly, spurring Republicans to act. But unions aren’t going to overreach every time:

What Michigan’s right-to-work success proves is that each state has a unique set of political circumstances when it comes to unions. For some states, a moment will appear when all the political stars are in alignment and something as bold as right-to-work is possible. For others, a go-slow approach pursuing less ambitious reforms is necessary. Even in California, voters in Democratic cities such as San Jose and San Diego have given overwhelming support to curbs on public-employee pensions.

What is clear is that, for the first time in decades, unions are on the political defense at the state level, and nationally their attempts to expand their power have not met with success in Congress. That’s why an important part of the battle will be fought in the coming months over President Barack Obama’s ambitious agenda to use federal regulatory powers to give unions what they want.

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