The ‘Kochtopus’ and Arizona GOP war on public-sector unions continued on Monday

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Tea-Publicans in the Arizona Legislature continued their unhinged assault on public-sector unions on Monday. Bills target public-sector unions:

Union-fightRepublicans at the Arizona Legislature are continuing efforts to restrict [destroy] public-employee unions.

Three bills to restrict unions passed a Senate committee on Monday. Another is scheduled for a House committee vote [Tuesday]. Several other bills are at various stages in the legislative process.

On Presidents Day, when most public employees had the day off, the Senate Government and Environment Committee held public hearings on three union-related bills. Sen. Rick Murphy, R-Peoria, sponsored all three bills. The committee passed:

SB 1348, which would prohibit a public employee from doing union activities during paid work time.

SB 1349, which would prohibit outside groups, such as unions, from deducting money from public-employee paychecks unless the employee provides written or electronic permission annually.

SB 1350, which would prohibit any individual who contracts with the state, counties or local governments from being able to strike.

The votes were all along party lines, with Republicans supporting them and Democrats opposing them.

“I am so profoundly sick and tired of the attacks by this body on public employees in all of their forms, especially the first responders putting their lives on the line every single day,” said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson. “It is time to support those who support us.”

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David Mendoza, a lobbyist with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, opposed all three bills.

“The system of negotiations and union release time has been in place for decades in the state of Arizona,” he said. “It has not needed the state Legislature to intervene. It is an issue of local control, and it has worked well.”

The bills next need a vote of the full Senate before moving on to the House.

Today, the House Government Committee will hear HB 2343, which, similarly to SB 1348, would prohibit a public employer from paying an employee for union activities.

Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, is the sponsor.

Three other bills have already passed committee and are awaiting a vote of their full chamber:

SB 1182, sponsored by Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, is similar to SB 1349 in that it prohibits outside groups from deducting money from public-employee paychecks without annual authorization.

HB 2026, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, would require local governments to vote by the end of the year on whether to deduct union dues from employee paychecks.

HB 2330, sponsored by Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Avondale, requires meetings between unions and a public body to follow the Open Meeting Law unless they are about employment-related matters.

[HB2330 is the Koch brothers-funded Goldwater Institute drafted bill. The 'Kochtopus' and Arizona GOP declare war on public employees. The Goldwater Institute is also behind a renewed attempt to eliminate automatic payroll deductions for union dues, the Senate version is SB1142 and the House version is HB2438. A third measure drafted by the Goldwater Institute, HB2343, attacks union "release time."]

Similar bills failed to pass the legislature in 2012. Evil never sleeps, so good must be eternally vigilant. Contact your state legislators and tell them that the Goldwater institute and the Tea Party can go to hell. Stop this assault on hard-working public-sector employees on whom you rely for protection and safety, and to educate your children.

h/t graphic Arizona Capitol Times

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