With the 2014 elections just behind us, many politicians are talking about bi-partisanship and the opportunities to work together to get things done. Yeah. Because there were no opportunities to do that for the last six years.
The only actions Congress will be taking during the next two years will be ones that benefit the Republican Party, corporations and the 1%.
The states are another matter entirely. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) insidiously provides state legislation that continues to erode the middle class in America, while ALEC’s evil little brother, the American City County Exchange (ACCE), does the same at the local and county level. There are 23 states that now have Republican control of both the state legislature and governor’s office. There are also seven states with Republican governors and split state legislatures. These states provide ALEC its best opportunities to undermine the rights of workers, destroy our environment, cut taxes for corporations and the 1%, and more.
The states to watch will be Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. These five states do not have the corporate servitude law known as “right-to-work.” Given that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is contemplating a 2016 presidential bid, he may not wish to rile union members by supporting this anti-union law. Maine and Massachusetts are significantly more vulnerable. With newly elected Republican governors, these two states represent a long sought-after foothold in the Northeast for anti-union groups. Passing corporate servitude legislation in both of these states would give union busting groups the leverage they need to push for a national corporate servitude law.
In the meantime, keep an eye on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (pending before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) and Hamidi v. SEIU Local 1000 (currently in California district court). These two cases are exactly what Supreme Court Justice Alito requested in his opinion on Harris v. Quinn in order to make corporate servitude the law of the land. On January 24, lead counsel in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court asking it to review the case. If the Court grants the petition, the case likely will be heard in the fall of 2015, with a decision expected by June, 2016.
While Congress may continue to do nothing, there will be plenty of damage being done in the states. Labor unions will need to be vigilant.
You can learn more about ALEC at www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed