Republicans are attacking your rights at multiple levels — voting rights, reproductive rights, the right to protest, the right to sue a business, the right to citizens initiative, and the right to unionize.
On Tuesday, the first bill up for debate was SB1268, the anti-union ALEC bill. In committee, we were led to believe that one “concerned citizen” was the source of this bill idea. During COW we found out that, of course, Senator Warren Petersen got this bill idea from the American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC) not the “concerned citizen” who has testified in committee two years in a row. Besides being harmful to unions, this bill is unnecessary.
In a nutshell, SB1268 is based upon the lie that union members are kept in the dark about their healthcare benefits. This bill forces additional, duplicative and costly reporting by the unions, allows union members to buy insurance outside of the contract, and sets the state up for future court cases.
The idea that union members don’t know their benefits is bogus. Their benefits are itemized on their paychecks, they receive contract documents and reports, they have regular meetings, and they are involved in contract negotiations. My Dad was a member of the United Steel Workers and a contract negotiator for his local union. I grew up on union benefits. Workers may be able to find cheaper insurance (AKA junk insurance) outside of the contract, but they won’t find a better, more comprehensive deal than one that is negotiated with the muscle of the union behind it. THAT is the reason behind SB1268. Extremists like Petersen perpetually attack unions in order to weaken them.
The Republicans are on a trail this year with unnecessary legislation — particularly legislation that diminishes your rights while featherbedding corporations. There have been many bills where the Democrats stood up and said, “I’m voting ‘no’ because we don’t need this” OR “This bill is redundant and unnecessary” OR “This is covered in another statute.”
The claim that the Republicans are the party of “small government” is blatantly false. This sham bill — along with many others — will create more bureaucracy, more government, and more burden for people.
It’s obvious that the 55th Legislature wants to run not only the state government but also the federal government, local governments, the corporation commission, the elections, unions, schools, and your lives. Capitol Times recently commented on the extreme overreach of the Legislative this year.
Thanks to Republican legislation passed this year, the only “people” who will have free reign in Arizona are the big corporations. They are making bank with millions in new tax giveaways. The rest of us are chattel. Go back to work!