President Obama is set to campaign for his $1.6 trillion tax hike in Detroit on Monday, but it appears a much more historic development will overshadow his appearance. Yesterday, both the Michigan state House and Senate passed identical versions of the Workplace Fairness and Equity Act, bills that would give workers the freedom not to join unions if they so choose.
According to state procedural rules, the legislation must wait five days before it can advance. Tuesday will be the first opportunity Gov. Rick Snyder has to make Michigan a right-to-work state. “For us to succeed, we have to remain competitive. That’s why I believe we should make Michigan a freedom-to-work state,” Snyder said at a press conference yesterday.
Unions, who view giving workers a choice about whether or not they want to pay union dues as a threat to their existence, did not take Snyder’s effort lying down. After Snyder announced he would support the legislation, union activists rushed the Senate chamber. Squadrons of Michigan State Police were ready for union violence however, and with the use of pepper spray they were able to prevent the protestors from hijacking the chamber. “A level of appropriate force was used by troopers,” State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner said. “Medical treatment was offered but they refused.” Eight protestors were arrested in the melee.
While Michigan went for Obama by a 10-point 54 percent to 44 percent margin this November, Gov. Snyder still managed to engineer a slew of conservative victories. Republicans not only maintained control of the state House (the State Senate was not up for re-election) and the state Supreme Court, but liberals also lost three major ballot propositions.
Michigan’s Proposal 2 would have enshrined collective bargaining powers for unions in the state constitution. It failed, 58 percent to 42 percent. Michigan’s Proposal 3 would have forced state utilities to produce at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources (e.g. wind, solar, biomass, etc.). It failed 63 percent to 37 percent. And Michigan’s Proposal 4 would have unionized home health care providers. It failed 57 percent to 43 percent.
The tide is turning in Michigan. Michiganders are tired of businesses and factories leaving the state. They are tired of having the highest unemployment rate in the region. Yesterday’s right to work victory was another major step in Michigan’s fight to become competitive again.
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Michigan’s fight to be competitive again
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The Washington Post, Senator leaving for think tank: Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a tea party icon known more for his confrontational political style, is leaving the senate to head The Heritage Foundation.
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Cato’s Dan Mitchell lists Five Policy Reasons and Five Political Reasons Why Republicans Should Keep their No-Tax-Hike Promises.
Mario Loyola, director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, explains why states should not set up Obamacare exchanges.
Think Progress lists 11 reasons liberals are happy DeMint left the Senate.
The Washington Post‘s Dylan Matthews lists ten ways liberals can fight income inequality without raising taxes.
Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall explains why the federal government is headed towards “the mother of all government shutdowns.”