Gov. signs Right to Work

The governor signed Michigan's Right to Work legislation into law early Tuesday evening. The bill signing was originally scheduled for Wednesday.
Tribune Staff
Dec 11, 2012

Gov. Rick Snyder called a news conference late Tuesday afternoon to announce that he signed House Bill 4003 and Senate Bill 116, making Michigan the 24th state to enact freedom-to-work laws.

“These new laws are pro-worker and pro-Michigan,” Snyder said. “Workers deserve the right to decide for themselves whether union membership benefits them. We also must make Michigan more inviting to job providers so our families can enjoy more and better jobs. Introducing freedom-to-work in Michigan will contribute to our state’s economic comeback while preserving the roles of unions and collective bargaining.”

Zack Pohl, executive director of Progress Michigan — the main group opposing the legislation — quickly issued a counter-statement: "It's clear Rick Snyder is one weak geek," Pohl said. "Signing these bills under the cover of darkness behind closed doors is the ultimate slap in the face to Michigan's middle-class families."

Michigan Senate Bill 116 was sponsored by Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive.

“By passing freedom-to-choose legislation, we are announcing to the world that Michigan is ‘open for business’ and open to new opportunities,” Meekhof said. “Ensuring fairness and equality in the workplace is both pro-employee and pro-employer. It will help build a strong economy with more jobs and empower Michigan families to decide what to do with their hard-earned dollars."

State Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, said Tuesday is an historic day for Michigan.

"I am proud to have cast my vote in support of the most pro-worker legislation this state has ever seen — legislation that will ensure fairness in the workplace, and embodies the freedom our state and our nation have embraced since their inception," Price said. "Since coming to Lansing, my main focus has been job creation and economic development, and this freedom-to-work legislation will keep Michigan on the path to economic prosperity by fostering a climate ripe for job providers and workers alike."

Meekhof said his measure prohibits private sector workers from being required to join or pay dues to a labor organization as a condition of employment. House Bill 4003 provides the same protections for public employees, except police and firefighters covered under binding arbitration.

— WZZM-TV contributed to this report.

Comments

northerngirl

Yeah - it's such wonderful legislation that they only way they could pass it was in the lame duck session, rushed without hearings. That's the way to do good law all right. Way to go GOP.

Vladtheimp

Does Obamacare ring a bell?

Lanivan

I love how you far-righters are quick to bring in ObamaCare!! I'd love to hear your version of this being anywhere close to being a fair, appropriate, intelligent, or otherwise comparison to the RTW law in Michigan, on any level, for any reason, or using any criteria. Now don't go using the Heritage Foundation, the Mackinaw Public Policy Center, ALEC, or Koch brother Tea Party, far right conservative, republican talking points! (Besides, they lost big money in the last election and this whole RTW fiasco might be construed as "political retribution").

Vladtheimp

Pretty easy, Lanivan - the democrats bought votes (Kansas Kickback, Louisiana Purchase) to pass it, and used Reconciliation when everything else failed - totally inappropriate- look it up) and lied about the budgetary impact to keep it below a trillion - look it up. And remember, the voters of Michigan had the opportunity to vote on Collective Bargaining - and they crushed it. Obama won the election, Republicans won big on the State and Local level, and the RTW vote in Michigan is just the beginning - see how many states have agreed to set up Exchanges under Obamacare - the Federal System of the Republic is alive and well - Sorry!

Lanivan

They used reconciliation after bending like pretzels to compromise with repubs who strung them along and then did a Charlie Brown on them - totally inappropriate! Have you spoken to every Michigan voter as to why they voted no on collective bargaining? The ones I talked to voted no on every proposal simply on principle because they did not want to amend the Constitution. The states that have not agreed to set up exchanges are red states that already receive, on average, vastly more federal dollars than tax revenue they pay in. They are also states that have the greatest numbers of low wage earners, lowest number of high school graduates, lowest numbers of skilled workers, highest numbers of infant mortality, highest numbers of poverty and homelessness, and the highest numbers of citizens without health insurance. And to think you proudly boast that this is an example of the federal system alive and well! Shame!

Vladtheimp

Sorry you lost this one.

Lanivan

Says who? Just because you have to get in the last word doesn't make it so.

lakeshore12

Should we have expected any better from Snyder? After all he is a business executive and venture capitalist.

dyankee

Democrats always want "fairness" and a "level playing field" unless it is THEY whom have to give the concessions to make it fair. Right to work is making things move towards fairness and look how these arrogant union fools acted yesterday in Lansing...tearing down tents and punching people with oppossing views in the face. Right now unemployment in right to work states is nearly 1% less than states without it and that is why other states will follow Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin's recent lead and RTW is going to spread like wildfire(as it should) across this country in 2013. Unions have been a road block to success and productivity for decades and its about time they are reeled in. I'm proud as hell today of my legislature and governor for doing exactly what the voters overwhelmingly sent them to Lansing to do....cut the fat, lower our taxes, and take out the trash. Job well done!

Lanivan

What Lansing did is push a bill through that deliberately had money attached to it so the voters couldn't vote on it, as quickly as possible, after being planned for over a year by a few freshmen tea party Senators backed by the Brothers Koch. Oh - and don't include Ohio ( a highly unionized state) in the mix. The voters last year voted down a RTW/Collective Bargaining proposal and their economy is booming, with high wage/benefit industry coming in, and they are enjoying a 6.9% unemployment rate....compared to 8% in Indiana and 9% in Michigan.

As for concessions, the unions have been making concessions regularly the last several years - and membership is down by 19% over the last several years - so what's the big rush to pass more regulations, more government interference (when it comes to workers) that ultimately helps Big Business and undermines the middle class? Why do you support Big Business that has more wealth than ever in recorded history, and want to see the middle class continue it's spiral downward?

Vladtheimp

A picture is worth a thousand words

http://weaselzippers.us/2012/12/...

Lanivan

Synder = "Sin"der?

Vladtheimp

Hah - I finally figured out your identity! http://youtu.be/wRxay1ynjN4

Lanivan

I realize your intent was to be demeaning, but I wish I had Rep. Jackson Lee's accomplishments under my belt. She certainly is popular in her district, having served since 1995, and getting 70-76% of the vote each election. Couldn't figure out why the hate....then read that she has likened the Tea Party to the KKK...you white guys don't take that well, coming from a (black!) woman...you've got to learn to chill.

Vladtheimp

How is it demeaning to believe that an anonymous writer to a paper is, in fact, a Member of Congress? What hate? Or do you consider being mistaken for a black woman is somehow demeaning? I meant, her talking points are yours, or at least derived from the same sources. Why would I demean someone from the same town in which I was born? Lighten up, Lanny baby!

Lanivan

What? Did you scroll down and see the hate-filled comments? And why her? I'm hardly the liberal you far right extremists painstakingly paint me as. And IS the Tea Party the 21st Century KKK? Lanny Baby? Sounds like a nice name for a song, like "Danny Boy"....are you a songwriter in addition to your work with the Mackinaw Kite Co? As you can see, I've taken your advice and am lightening up...

Vladtheimp

Just watched the video. The talking points sounded the same to me. Although I spent years living in an Irish Bar in D.C. (Ireland's Four Provinces - one for the ages), I have absolute zero musical talent. Lannie Baby was a take off on what great Redskins running back John Riggins said to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at a function where Riggo was over-served -"Lighten Up, Sandy Baby." Good to see you have a light side (no disrespect to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee).

AtomicRooster

Keep in mind in November of 2014 who NOT to vote for. I hope by that time Michigan residents will have woke up by then and NOT re-elect Snyder.
And you thought Engler was bad.

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