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This is what happens when you vote Republican

In a move that surprises just about nobody, Governor Rick Snyder announced at press conference this morning that when anti-union Republicans send "Right to Work for Less" (RTWFL) legislation to his desk, he will sign it.

After spending the past year being coy about his position on RTWFL, it was widely suspected that he would support such legislation. With gerrymandered districts ensuring Republican dominance for the foreseeable future, the will of Michiganders as a whole is being thwarted by a cadre of drunk-with-power ideologues that have been waiting for decades to jam anti-union, anti-worker, anti-woman and pro-Big Business bills through the legislature and into law. The perfect storm of the 2010 midterm election and the redistricting that happened the following year gave them their opportunity.

From the Detroit News report:

Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday he wants the Legislature to pass a right-to-work bill and that he would sign the legislation.

Snyder called it a "workplace fairness and equity" bill and said he wants it enacted in the next few days. He said it would cover the public and private sectors with an exception for police and firefighters.

"Workers should have freedom to choose who they associate with," Snyder said at a packed news conference at his office in the Romney building across from the state Capitol.

Like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Republicans will carve out an exception for police and fire fighters. They are also including an appropriation that makes it referendum-proof because that's how they roll. Can't have the commonfolk having any power over what happens in their own state, after all, not when ideologues are involved.

For anyone, including Governor Snyder, to make the claim that this isn't, at its heart, an anti-union effort designed to crush the most powerful group under the Democratic tent is beyond disingenuous. It's a pure lie, simply put.

The IBEW's tweet spells it out:

Please sign my petition to voice your digust at this egregious attack on working families.

Now we begin the process of overcoming the gerrymandering and electing Democrats anyway in 2014. We have no time to lose.

UPDATE: The House has passed their version of Right to Work For Less legislation by vacating another bill and substituting in the RTWFL language. The vote was 58-52. House Dems who walked out were forced to get a court order in order to be let back in the Capitol Building after House Speaker Jase Bolger locked down the building.

The Senate is voting on amendments now and will likely pass it before they adjourn for the evening. Michigan Radio reports that the Senate cannot vote on it for 5 days (I'm not sure why.) However, they are getting ready to vote on a second bill to pass Right to Work for public employee unions.

Meanwhile, the Senate also managed to pass a bill today that forces women to purchase an additional rider on their health insurance if they want abortion services to be covered. ALL health insurance. From Think Progress:

Prevent private insurance companies from covering any abortion services.
A trio of companion bills — SBs 612, 613, and 614 — would work together to ban the health insurance exchange that Michigan will set up under Obamacare from covering abortion, as well as ban private insurers from covering any abortion services under their general insurance plans. Currently, 87 percent of Michigan’s insurance plans include abortion care in their benefits packages. If private insurers elect to cover abortions, they have to do it as a separate rider, which often ends up being more costly for women.
Also, they passed a bill that would allow doctors to refuse care for moral or ethical reasons.

Also, the House Local, Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs committee passed the new Emergency Manager Law out of committee.

UPDATE 2: President Obama has weighed in:

Sen. Morris Hood III, D-Detroit, referenced the fact that President Barack Obama opposes the measure as he spoke on why he will vote no on the bill.

Hood read a statement from White House spokesman Matt Lehrich:

"President Obama has long opposed so-called ‘right to work’ laws and he continues to oppose them now. The President believes our economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights. Michigan – and its workers' role in the revival of the US automobile industry -- is a prime example of how unions have helped build a strong middle class and a strong American economy."

UPDATE 3: Apparently Michigan Radio was quite wrong. The Senate passed their version of the bill. They used the public employees version of the bill as the vehicle for it. They replaced the language of the bill with the same language as the House bill and it is now a done deal.

Debate continues in the Senate on a bill covering public employee unions that would exempt police and firefighters from Right to Work for Less.

UPDATE 4: Apparently the two bills are different, though, after a quick look at them online, they seem identical to me. At any rate the Detroit Free Press reports that these are two parts of a three-bill set and each will need to vote on the others. The one the Senate voted on can't go back to the House until tomorrow due to a procedural move by the Dems:

The state House passed the first right-to-work bill late this afternoon in a 58-52 vote, but that bill can’t move on to the Senate until the next session day -- possibly Friday, if a session is scheduled -- because of a procedural move by Democrats who are asking that the vote be reconsidered. {...}

The House and Senate bills are two of three separate right-to-work bills now in the Legislature that will eventually be consolidated into two bills. Both the House and Senate bills deal with private sector employees. The third bill deals with public sector employees, excluding police and firefighters.

Both Michigan Public Radio and the Detroit News are saying the Senate bill needs to wait 5 days before going to the House.

UPDATE 5: The Detroit Free Press seems to have it sorted out:

The quickest the Legislature can now pass the right-to-work bills through both chambers and send them on to Gov. Rick Snyder is five days from the next sitting, or session day, said Ari Adler, a spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall. The next session day could be set for Friday, a day this weekend or Tuesday, Adler said. The five-day clock then starts after that.
Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

[Photo credit: Eclectablog]

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:04 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Michigan, My Michigan.

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