With #HB2872, #AZGOP Uses #ALEC Legislation to Attack Labor Unions (video)

Writers Union joins ASARCO picket

Arizona Republicans are on the attack in 2020. We have heard anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-voter, and anti-immigrant legislation so far, and now to round out the set– we have anti-union legislation. Today’s featured bad bill is HB2872 proposed by Majority Leader Warren Petersen. It is an anti-union model bill from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Unions are private organizations, and this bill puts unnecessary, burdensome regulation and reporting requirements on unions that are not required of any other businesses. In fact, when I read HB2872, I thought, “Gosh, I would love to have this level of cost-benefit analysis reporting from my private insurance company regarding their profits and losses, salaries, and how much they actually spend on my care, compared to how much I pay.” But they aren’t required to do that.

HB2872 is national, model legislation that is duplicative and unnecessary because the reporting is already required by the federal government, and it is published online– for everyone to see. So, why is this bill necessary?

In my years in the Legislature, I have heard many bills that streamline processes and reduce paperwork. I have also heard many bills that defer to federal standards, licensing and reporting. This bill that targets unions goes in the opposite direction from these trends in the Arizona Legislature. HB2872 represents unnecessary over regulation and onerous paperwork. Since it goes against federal law, HB2872 is likely unconstitutional. What happens when the Arizona Legislature passes unconstitutional laws? The state gets sued, and that is a waste of taxpayer funds. This is a solution looking for a problem.

HB2872 is harassment of the unions because it layers on cumbersome bureaucracy and is designed to generate unnecessary lawsuits. Republicans are afraid of unions because they have become very popular, as work life has become worse, Arizona wages stagnate at 85% of the national wage, and the gig economy wears people down. Increasingly, people see unionization as their only hope to fight the power of big corporations.

Please voice your opinion on Request to Speak. HB2872 passed out of Regulatory Affairs today on a party line vote.

National Writers Union at ASARCO strike line
Members of the Tucson Local 1981 of the National Writers Union joined striking
ASARCO miners. [Note the moon and the shooting star.]

As an interesting aside to this anti-union bill, last week in Ways and Means, we heard a presentation about continuation of the Angel Tax Credits (HB2409). I have been to several Bioscience Roadmap events in which they feature research-based spin-off businesses from the universities who benefit from angel investors.

I worked for multiple research projects in my 14 years at the University of Arizona. Fostering university research spin-off businesses for economic development was part of my platform when I first ran for office. I continue to believe in offering research grants to promising scientists from Arizona’s universities.

To my surprise, in committee, we learned that only 30% of the angel investment tax credits actually go to university spin-offs; the remaining 70% goes to other entrepreneurs. We heard a presentation from angel investment recipient called Quick. This is an app where bartenders and other hospitality professionals can register and find jobs near them.

I asked if the jobs they were locating were regular jobs that had a steady paycheck. “No,” the Quick founder said. “This app helps people live in the gig economy.”

There are over 70,000 professionals nationwide on this app and more than 25,000 in Arizona. These are unemployed or underemployed bartenders who are scrambling for rent. This is Uber/Lyft for bartenders.

Think about it. Republican Legislators are attacking unions, who stand up for workers rights, fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions. At the same time, they are offering tax credits to qualified investors who fund business start-ups that grow the gig economy.