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Archive for Monday, February 11, 2013

Democrats propose initiatives, criticize bills opposed by unions

February 11, 2013

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— Democratic legislators Monday blasted Republican-sponsored anti-union proposals they said would silence opposing viewpoints.

Measures that would prohibit voluntary paycheck deductions for union political action committees, eliminate collective bargaining laws, delay unemployment benefits and change the workers’ compensation appeal process are all moving through the Legislature.

“I have never seen an all-out assault on working Kansans like we are witnessing right now,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence.

Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, said House Bill 2023 is taken straight from model legislation put together by the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce-backed measure would prohibit public union members from making voluntary payroll deductions to their organization’s political action committee.

Supporters of the bill say it would protect workers who disagree with their unions and remove government from the process of deducting pay for union activity.

But Holland said that HB 2023 was an example of measures supported by Charles and David Koch “to benefit their interests.”

The brothers are the owners of Wichita-based Koch Industries and financial supporters of several conservative causes.

Missy Cohlmia, a spokeswoman for Koch Industries, said the business did not lobby on this bill. She added, “Equally troubling is the senator’s attack on a Kansas-based company that employs nearly 3,000 people in the state and pays compensation and benefits totaling more than $370 million.”

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, defended the Republican-backed measures.

“House Republicans believe in giving Kansas workers options,” Merrick said. “The bills empower workers to negotiate the terms of their employment directly with employers, giving them more freedom and more choices. This is good for the worker as well as the employers who create jobs.”

The Democrats held a news conference to unveil a series of measures they said would help working families.

One proposal would create preferences to hire Kansans and purchase from Kansans first in the procurement of state labor and services.

Another would increase the state minimum wage by tying it to the consumer price index. The current state minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

And Holland has introduced a bill that would require state government to use the federal database E-verify to check the immigration status of new employees. The legislation also would apply to state contracts.

Comments

werekoala 1 year, 2 months ago

What's funny is that as a right-to-work state, in Kansas, union membership is no more compulsory than buying Girl Scout cookies.

I know the professional anti-government brigade knows this, but it serves their purposes to pretend otherwise. I'm not sure whether the Kansas legislators are in on the gag, or they're just as duped as many I'd the posts above seem to be.

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bobberboy 1 year, 2 months ago

Kochs dealings are all under the table. They are crooks but they are'nt stupid !!

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Dan Eyler 1 year, 2 months ago

The only concern the teachers unions have is this. If the teachers and other state employees have to write the check rather than having directly withdrawn from their pay checks will they? The union already knows the answer to that question. NO, unless there is a solid reason to and a case can be made to convince them. Making the case to contribute takes a lot more effort than getting the money up front with no questions asked. This is the way it should work. Pass the legislation into law.

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Katara 1 year, 2 months ago

"Chairman Pyle said he believed associations representing cities and counties could be formed without the use of tax dollars, similar to how he pays dues to the Kansas Farm Bureau to represent his interests. Asked if his state legislative salary is used to pay those dues, he said that wouldn't matter.

"You pay a teacher that is paid with public funds, but when the teacher receives that money that then is private funds and that teacher can do what they want with their money. It's their paycheck," he said." http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/feb/11/statehouse-live-fight-over-taxpayer-financed-lobby/?c=2249570

Wonder how Chairman Pyle will vote on House bill 2023?

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Katara 1 year, 2 months ago

"Supporters of the bill say it would protect workers who disagree with their unions and remove government from the process of deducting pay for union activity." FTA

They already have those protections. SCOTUS made sure that they did with Communications Workers of American v/ Beck. This is already established law and there is no need to pass new law for what already exists.


"House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, defended the Republican-backed measures. “House Republicans believe in giving Kansas workers options," Merrick said.

"The bills empower workers to negotiate the terms of their employment directly with employers, giving them more freedom and more choices. This is good for the worker as well as the employers who create jobs," he said." - FTA

Is our House Speaker aware that Kansas is a right to work state and employees can choose to negotiate the terms of their employment directly with employers? Does our Speaker not understand what right to work means?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 2 months ago

"The bills empower workers to negotiate the terms of their employment directly with employers, giving them more freedom and more choices. This is good for the worker as well as the employers who create jobs," he said.


Translation-- The workers have the right to shut the hell up and go back to work, and be happy they have a job at all.

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Armstrong 1 year, 2 months ago

"One proposal would create preferences to hire Kansans and purchase from Kansans first in the procurement of state labor and services."

I believe the last time this idea was in the LJW numerous libs threw this under the bus. How popoular is it now ?

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Brock Masters 1 year, 2 months ago

So who is going to step up and run against Brownback to stop him from having another 4 years to continue down this path?

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dwendel 1 year, 2 months ago

"Republicans please continue to cut taxes and spending because smaller government is the key to economic prosperity!"

Somehow, RC, I do not think you will benefit from the R's "tax cuts" in the great state of Kansas. But at least you can brag that your team won, even as your aggregate tax bill goes up up up. (Too bad, so sad.)

And, since politics is all about cheerleading, trash talk and "winning" for you, please remind us of how your team did in the last national election. "Romney by a landslide!" you said (over and over and over and over and over and over again.) And now you predict prosperity in Kansas. Lord help us.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 2 months ago

With only 33 members in the House and 8 members Senate, Democrats are finished in the great state of Kansas. Sit down and shut up Paul / Tom. Republicans please continue to cut taxes and spending because smaller government is the key to economic prosperity!

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 2 months ago

"I have never seen an all-out assault on working Kansans like we are witnessing right now," said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Great...how about the majority of taxpayers that are working Kansans that everytime one of these public unions get their way ... we take a pay cut!

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