This is not about whether you think right-to-work would be good or bad for Michigan. We can do that another time.
This is WHY right-to-work legislation is now being supported by Governor Snyder when he insisted for more than a year the issue was too divisive and he wasn’t interested in any bill coming to his desk. As you peruse this and make comments, be sure to take note of the final paragraphs as they contain information of a political possibility I never knew existed!
So, perhaps the governor still thinks right-to-work is divisive, but I’m not surprised he would be more welcoming of legislation coming to his desk, especially after facing a November ballot proposal that would have enshrined collective-bargaining rights in the state constitution and bar any right-to-work laws.
Remember, Governor Snyder asked union leaders to back off the proposal. They didn’t, and it became a multimillion-dollar fight between business and labor. In the end, voters spanked down the proposal overwhelmingly by 14 points.
The governor stuck his neck out as far as he could to assure the left he wasn’t interested in right-to-work. Perhaps there was a perceived weakness for a fight that the left tried to exploit with the ballot issue. It’s almost as if they said “Governor, since you're not getting in the game, we are!” Hence, Proposal 2.
On the heels of the vote, with Republicans in control of Lansing, the timing appears perfect for legislation to pass and the governor to sign. After being gamed politically by the union leaders and their supports, I’m sure right-to work becoming reality in Michigan would please Governor Snyder both politically and personally.
Many union leaders now have the gall to remind the governor of his desire not to have right-to-work legislation on the agenda. If the union leaders hadn’t made right-to-work an issue with Proposal 2, I don’t think the governor would be making it an issue.
“Proposal 2 was a strategic gamble and it was a terrible failure on the part of organized labor,” said Craig Ruff, a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants in Lansing. “It was a big mistake.”
A big mistake, indeed.
HERE IS THE INTERESTING POLITICAL POSSIBILITY AS OUTLINED IN THE DETROIT NEWS.....
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, was the governor’s designated blocker to avoid dealing with right-to-work in the lame-duck session. But Richardville learned this week that supporters of the proposal were lining up the 14 GOP Senate votes needed to dethrone him, and planned to mount a leadership challenge in January.
So Snyder agreed to make right-to-work part of the legislative agenda. Whether that means it will actually come to a vote during lame-duck is unclear. But the governor now knows he can’t keep the legislation bottled up.
If the stall continues, backers are ready to spend whatever it takes on a legislative initiative petition drive to bring a bill directly to floor of the Legislature. Under Michiganlaw, if enough citizen signatures are gathered in support of a piece of legislation — in this case, about 250,000 — it must be presented to lawmakers for a vote.
If the measure is passed it will become law without the governor’s signature. If defeated, it automatically goes on the ballot in 2014.
It’s a rarely used tool. But it demonstrates the determination of the right-to-work advocates.
The above scenario will apparently not be necessary.
Right to Work legislation has passed both houses and it's expected sometime next week, Governor Snyder will sign the legislation.
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