State Battles

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News and Alerts

Connecticut

Right to Work

The General Assembly may have ended Connecticut’s longest budget impasse by negotiating and passing a two-year bipartisan compromise with a margin large enough to survive a potential gubernatorial veto.  The Senate voted 33-3 to pass the budget plan just before 2 a.m. on Thursday, October 26.  The House of Representatives followed with a vote of 126-23-2 later that afternoon. 

The biennial bipartisan budget largely protects the vast majority of state education funding and municipal aid, but makes painful cuts in higher education and job training programs while raising taxes on the poor and working families in order to protect tax advantages for the wealthy. 

Key provisions impacting working families include:

 Requiring chamber votes on state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards.

 Establishing an irrebuttable presumption that 15% of municipal fund balances cannot be considered for an arbitration award.

 Increasing the prevailing wage threshold for new construction from $400K to $1M and requiring DECD projects over $1M to pay prevailing rate, but exempting a construction project in House Minority Leader Klarides’ district.

 Slashing higher education funding and workforce training programs.

 Cuts the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that benefits the working poor while reducing the estate and gift tax that benefits the wealthy.

 Increasing teachers’ pension contributions 1% and reducing the corresponding amount the state pays into the teacher pension fund.

 Cutting the state’s share of teacher retiree healthcare and freezing the income tax exemption on teacher pension income.

 Establishing a $2 billion annual bonding cap and tightens the state spending cap.

 Limiting the $200 property tax credit to the elderly and households with dependents.

 Limiting cuts to education funding and provides additional dollars to the lowestperforming districts.

 Providing up to $40M in supplemental funding and state oversight to the City of Hartford to avert bankruptcy.

Kansas

Safety and Health

The Senate Commerce Committee held hearings earlier in the spring on SB 212.  This bill would allow the state to develop a state-run occupational safety and health program that would replace oversight from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  More information can be found here.

Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) on Saturday signed controversial legislation that will allow workers to refuse to pay union dues, a victory for Republicans who control the state government for the first time in nearly a century.

Michigan

Prevailing wage repeal effort clears major hurdle

Lansing — A group seeking to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law submitted more than 380,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office Friday to try to put the issue before the Republican-controlled Legislature. 

Read more: http://Prevailing wage repeal effort clears major hurdle Lansing — A group seeking to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law submitted more than 380,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office Friday to try to put the issue before the Republican-controlled Legislature. Read more: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/03/wage-effort-signatures/107309362/

New Hampshire

Right to Work

The House defeated right to work measure SB 11 in February, voting 200 to 177 that the bill was "inexpedient to legislate". The House also voted to indefinitely postpone consideration of any other right to work bills for the rest of the legislative session. A statement from the NH AFL-CIO on the House vote on SB 11 can be found here. More information can be found here.

Wisconsin

Project Labor Agreements

The Assembly passed anti-PLA bill SB 3 earlier in the spring of 2017.  This bill prohibits state and municipal governments from engaging in certain activities related to Project Labor Agreements.

West Virginia

Right to Work

The legislature gave final approval to SB 330 in March of 2017. The bill makes retroactive changes to the 2016 “Right to Work” law currently being challenged by the West Virginia AFL-CIO and others in court.