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The Freedom Update - Episode 57

The Freedom Update - Episode 57

February 6, 2015

Hi, and welcome to The Freedom Update.

A hearing held at the House Labor Committee on Tuesday showed a typical back and forth of the pro and con argument behind raising the minimum wage. No matter how many times things like numbers and facts were laid out, the pro-minimum wage debaters still insisted upon raising the minimum wage. One restaurant owner stated that if wages were to be increased to just $12 an hour, he would have to find an additional $75,000 a year in profits to make up the difference. It seems like basic math, but sometimes, the people making the decisions can't add 2 and 2 together.

State law currently authorizes union security provisions in public employees contracts that require all employees in the workplace to pay dues or be fired. This week, legislation that would make it possible for public employees to deauthorize union dues passed out of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. SB 5045 would require the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to hold a vote that would decide if the union security provision would stay if 30 percent or more of a bargaining unit submits a petition calling for an election. Despite the clearly laid out conditions, the bill still received criticism from some pro-union legislators—notably, Senator Bob Hasegawa called the bill "totally undemocratic."

The Freedom Foundation is working as hard as ever this year to advance policies that curb union officials special privileges. In the 2015 legislative session, we have introduced a number of bills that all deal with increased union transparency and workers rights in public sector unions. Six of our bills have already been passed out of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. One Freedom Foundation bill that passed just this week, was Senate Bill 5552. This bill helps accommodate the civil rights of religious objectors in the case of mandatory payments to labor organizations. Four union members who have experienced the process of trying to persuade union officials to accommodate their religious objection were on hand to testify. Click the link to see what they had to say.

That's all for this week—until next week, I'm David Bramblett, stay informed.

If you want to learn about the stories discussed in this week's The Freedom Update, click the links below:

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