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The Freedom Update - Episode 60

The Freedom Update - Episode 60

February 27, 2015

Hi, and welcome to The Freedom Update.

This week, the Senate Ways and Means Committee voted in favor of two Freedom Foundation bills that take steps to help employees that are stuck in a workplace that collects forced union dues. Senate Bill 5045 would allow public employees to call for a vote on whether or not to have forced payment to the union. Senate Bill 5226 would require government unions to file the same financial reports that private sector unions have to file. Current law allows for public sector unions to refuse to tell their members how their money is spent. You can read about these bills and more in our weekly Freedom at the Capitol email updates.

This week, a Freedom Foundation report by our Research Analyst Anne Marie Gurney has led to a King 5 News investigative report into teachers who have committed criminal offenses, but still receive monthly pension payments heavily funded by taxpayers. The King 5 story quickly spread to Kiro's Dori Monson, and KTTH's David Boze radio programs after being released. Kiro discussed the topic for more than 45 minutes, including an interview with the Freedom Foundation. Not surprisingly, the public was disgusted. 75% of people who responded to a King 5 survey said that teachers convicted of a crime should lose some part of their taxpayer backed pension. 

One person who was not so disgusted, however, was Kit Raney, spokesperson for the teacher’s union. Raney is retired teacher who receives a monthly pension, and when asked if teachers convicted of crimes should still receive pensions said: Such a callous and uncaring response from the union representative was shocking considering some of the former teachers were serving time in jail for child molestation. Raney unsuccessfully attempted to change the subject during the interview. Her attempt at diversion is at best insulting to viewers. The Freedom Foundation will press on with issue. The problem has been identified – now, let’s find a solution.

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

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