Tabitha Jackson

Thankfully, Right-to-Work Repeal Falters in Virginia House

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Posted by Tabitha Jackson on Thursday, February 27th, 2020, 5:13 PM PERMALINK

A bill that would have repealed Virginia’s right-to-work law has been killed by the Democrat-controlled House.

House Bill 153 was intended to repeal Virginia’s current right-to-work law, which provides that no individual will be forced to join a labor union or pay fees to a labor union to work in the place of his or her choice.

Right-to-work laws are favored across the board, with 71% of Americans saying they favor a right-to-work law, and only 22% saying they disapprove, according to a Gallup poll.

The same poll also found that 82% agree that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his will.”

Saving Virginia’s right-to-work law is a win for the state’s economy and workforce. Workers in the commonwealth deserve the freedom from being forced to pay union dues or fees just to get or keep a job.

Other states should note the example of Virginia’s failed attempt to repeal right-to-work, people do not support allowing union officials the power to force workers to pay to be part of a union or else lost out on opportunity. Smarter states can be proactive by passing legislation that requires workers to opt in to their unions on a regular basis, rather than signing up once and having to jump through hoops to ever get out.

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Repealing Right-to-Work Would Be Economy-crushing Mistake for Virginia

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Posted by Tabitha Jackson on Sunday, February 9th, 2020, 12:15 PM PERMALINK

Virginia has enjoyed great economic prosperity over the past decades and has been named the best state for business numerous times, but their economy may be in danger since the Democrat-controlled legislature has been pushing the idea of repealing the state’s right-to-work law. Legislation has advanced through the House Labor and Commerce Committee in Richmond.

Virginia’s current right-to-work law provides that no individual will be forced to join a labor union or pay fees to a labor union to work in the place of his or her choice.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 union members only accounted for 4.6 percent of wage and salary workers in Virginia.

The states that border Virginia including all have right-to-work laws. Repealing Virginia’s right-to-work law would put existing and future employees at a great disadvantage compared to Virginia’s neighboring states.

The National Institute for Labor Relations Research found in 2019 that the percentage growth in number of people employed in right-to-work states was 10.8%, compared to 5% in forced-unionism states. This same study also showed that the growth in number of residents aged 35-54 was 1.5% in right-to-work states, well forced-unionism states actually lost 7.9% of their residents in that age group.

Right-to-work laws are not anti-union. Rather, they are freedom of association, which is the foundation that a union’s right to organize is based.

Repealing this law would be a hit to Virginia’s economy and forcing workers to join or pay dues to a union just to get or keep a job is not logical.

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PA Legislators Look to Protect Taxpayers from Reckless Spending

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Posted by Tabitha Jackson on Monday, January 20th, 2020, 2:40 PM PERMALINK

It’s not rocket science, spending drives demand for tax hikes, and the ability to raise taxes fuels spending.

Focusing on the spending side of the ledger, legislators in Pennsylvania have proposed the Taxpayer Protection Act (Senate Bill 116/ House Bill 1316). The bill, sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta and Representative Ryan Warner, would limit overall spending increases to the rate of inflation, plus population growth. A supermajority vote could override the limit.

Revenues that come in above the spending cap would first go into the state’s shallow rainy day fund. The state will also need to thoroughly review state programs to ensure spending growth is kept within the TPA index.

This is a great, pro-taxpayer measure for any state, but is especially necessary for Pennsylvania.

The Keystone State has seen its population stagnate, and even shrink in some recent years – losing 260,000 residents in 2016. The state and local tax burden costs residents $4,589 per year. While that is more competitive than some of its eastern neighbors, taxes are still driving people away.

This trend of leaving the state is especially prevalent amongst people aged 20-35. The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office reported that 47,000 people in this age bracket with at least an associate’s degree left the state in 2015.

The good news is that from 2012 to 2017 Pennsylvania’s spending declined relative to state GDP, dropping nearly 20% by that metric, fifth most in the nation. Republican legislators having control of the state purse strings is largely why. Democrat Governor Tom Wolf has certainly pushed for his fair share of bad tax and fiscal policy since taking office in 2015.  

Passing the Taxpayer Protection Act now would go a long way to preserving this progress on spending restraint, limiting the ability of future legislatures to waste the public’s money.

Spending restraint is also broadly popular, Republicans, Democrats and independents each reported at least 67% support for the measure, according to Susquehanna Polling & Research.

Now is the perfect time to get the Taxpayer Protection Act done.

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