• Here's What Went Down with Right-to-Work
    Print Icon Jun 24, 2015

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    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    You may have seen in the news that the Legislature has wrapped up almost all of their work in Augusta for the year. They will be back in for two more days to vote on overriding Governor LePage's vetoes, including an expected veto of the State Budget.

    We wanted to provide a quick update on key issues. I'm so excited to let you know that thanks to all your work, we were able to defeat the so-called right to work bill and the other attacks on collective bargaining at the State House this year. 

    Here's the FINAL RESULTS on our key bills (Click for roll-call votes to see how your Rep and Senator voted. On all of these votes, a YES is with us, NO is against us)

    LD 489 (so-called Right to Work for private and public sectors) Defeated in the House 90-52, Defeated in the Senate 21-14

    LD 404 (ban on payroll deduction dues payment for public sector union members) Defeated in the House 90-51. Defeated in the Senate 23-12.

    LD 1319 (prohibits negotiating administrative/ union leave time for public sector) Defeated in the House 86-56. Defeated in the Senate 23-12

    LD 1431 (Right to Work "Zones") Defeated in the Senate 19-16. No House roll call.

    LD 1010 (makes subcontracting and privatization no longer a legal subject of bargaining in the public sector) has still not been voted on.  Its quite possible the Legislature will ultimately adjourn without ever voting on it, which would mean the bill would be dead. We will continue to watch to ensure this happens.

    Thank you for all you did over the past months to ensure this victory. We set out to defeat all of these bills with strong bi-partisan votes in both chambers, and we did. This sends a clear message to our foes that there is no appetite for their union busting antics in Maine.

    Holding our elected officials accountable is incredibly important. We need to thank those that stood with us and express our disappointment with those who voted against us.  Please take a moment to let them know how you feel about their votes. 

    We will be sending out our Annual Working Families Legislative Scorecard again this year in September. This will give full roll call votes for a number of bills that matter to Maine working families. It's an important tool for accountability. We are asking local unions to sponsor the scorecard so stay tuned.

    State Budget:

    The bipartisan State budget that passed both chambers will be vetoed by Gov. LePage in the coming days.  The Legislature will return on Tuesday June 30 to vote to override the Governor's veto. 

    The budget includes some positives for working people:

    -  $6.5 million a year to fund pay raises for Department of Corrections officers to help improve recruitment and retention and address under staffing.

    - $62 million a year for Municipal Revenue Sharing to Maine communities that will help keep property taxes low and fund roads, schools, and public safety.

    - Increased investment in public education to support Maine students, schools and teachers.

    - Doubling of the Homestead Exemption which will help keep property taxes down.

    At the same time, this budget does considerable harm to immigrant workers and families and weakens some key tools to achieve tax fairness.

    Stopping Corporate Fraud & Abuse:

    One issue we've been watching closely this session is legislation to get Maine people's money back from corporate raiders and Wall Street con-men who fleeced Maine taxpayers for more than $30 million through the State's New Markets tax credit program.  Out of state financiers used sham transactions and one day loans to get tax credits for investments they never actually made. You can read a great editorial by USW 900 member and State Senator John Patrick  in the Bangor Daily News here on this issue. Unfortunately Maine Senate Republicans voted to reject a bill that would  have reformed this program and recouped taxpayer dollars. 

    Thanks for all that you do!

    In solidarity,

    Matt and the Maine AFL-CIO


    Maine AFL-CIO   •   21 Gabriel Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330  •   www.maineaflcio.org  • facebook.com/maineaflcio

    PAID FOR AND AUTHORIZED BY AFL-CIO WORKING FAMILIES NETWORK

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