State Battles

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News and Alerts


Anti-prevailing wage bill

Anti-prevailing wage bill HB 293 remains in the House Administration Committee. The bill would rewrite the state’s prevailing wage by basing the wage on payroll information provided to the State Department of Labor, rather than on employer surveys.


Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is in big trouble in November.



The nation’s second primary election produced a stunning result Tuesday — little-known conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives nearly upset GOP Governor Bruce Rauner. Even in defeat, Ives’ performance raised serious questions about Rauner’s ability to win reelection in November in a blue state with President Donald Trump serving as the backdrop.  Read more...

Aamer Madhani and Nicole Gaudiano, USA TODAY

CHICAGO—Veteran Rep. Dan Lipinksi defeated a well-funded primary challenger, heading off a push by abortion rights groups and other left-leaning advocacy organizations looking to unseat one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress.  Read more...


Occupational Licensing

SB 78 remains before the House Rules Committee.  Currently, several floor amendments have been filed that address the number of years of experience and education that would be required to be licensed as an electrician in the state. This bill is an attempt to overhaul the existing licensing regulations that would allow under-trained tradespeople to gain a license that would falsely equate with the extensive training provided by the various trades unions that are affected (in addition to the UA, IBEW would be affected). 


Health Insurance

The Louisiana legislature, both houses of which are controlled by Republicans, is advancing legislation that will establish a reinsurance program for the state’s individual health insurance market.

The program would be paid for by a combination of government funding (primarily, or even entirely, federal pass-through dollars provided via an ACA Sec. 1332 state innovation waiver) and a per capita assessment related to individuals covered by major medical insurance in Louisiana. Under the bill, the assessment could be as much as $2.50 per member per month (though the state insurance department estimates it would be set at $1.09 per month in 2019).

Generally, the assessment would be paid by health insurers, HMOs, third-party administrators and group self-insurers as defined by current Louisiana law. 

For private-sector workers, the fee would be assessed against the health insurer or HMO providing workplace coverage or the TPA that administers a self-funded plan. The legislation itself does not interfere with insurers, HMOs and TPAs attempting to recoup the cost of the fee from client health funds, and we would expect them to pass the cost through whenever they have the bargaining power to do so. The fee would not be assessed against a plan that is both self funded and self administered.


Unemployment Insurance

LD 1770, as amended, would provide a fix for recently passed legislation that established a new UI statewide system. The emergency bill received a divided vote on 3/28, so was not reported out by the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.


Repeal of Prevailing Wage

In early 2018, anti-prevailing wage group Protecting Michigan Taxpayers submitted 380,000 signatures to the Michigan Election Bureau. The Bureau took a sampling of 535 signatures and found that only 370 were valid – shy of the 373 valid signatures required for Board of State Canvassers to recommend approval.

The Michigan Bureau of Elections is currently determining if the petition has enough valid signatures.  The Bureau is expected to submit its report on this matter to the Board of State Canvassers in the next few weeks. If 252,523 valid signatures are certified, the petition to repeal the state’s prevailing wage will go to the state legislature, which would have 40 days to approve the measure or send it to the ballot in November.

Voting Rights/Online Registration

SB 425, which was approved by the House Elections and Ethics Committee on Thursday, 4/12, would allow online registration through the Secretary of State’s office for those who have a valid driver’s license or official State identification card. SB 426 through SB 429 would make technical changes necessary to implement SB 425. The House Elections and Ethics Committee considered and sent to the full House similar legislation, HB 5548 and HB 5549 last month.


Anti-Prevailing Wage Bills


SB 555 and SB 599 have been placed on the Senate Perfection Calendar for Tuesday, 4/17 and could be considered as early as that day.  SB 555 would repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, and SB 599 would modify how the prevailing wage is applied to specific public works and maintenance projects.   SB 688, which would also modify how the prevailing wage is applied to specific public works and maintenance projects, was passed by the Senate General Laws Committee in February.

The Senate General Laws Committee passed HB 1729 last week.  This bill would repeal the state’s prevailing wage law for all taxpayer-funded public works projects. The bill summary can be found here.

Both HB 1313 and HB 1594 remain under consideration in the House Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee.  HB 1313 would prohibit the Missouri Housing Development Commission from requiring a prevailing wage on a project for a housing tax credit.  HB 1594 would allow municipalities to opt out of the state’s prevailing wage law.

HB 1270 and HB 1271 remain before the House Economic Development Committee.  HB 1270 would allow any county to exempt political subdivisions and public colleges and universities from the prevailing wage law.  HB 1271 would establish the School Construction Act, which exempts construction and maintenance work for certain school districts from prevailing wage requirements with the school board’s approval.

Also, the following bills remain before the House Economic Development Committee, where they have not yet been heard in committee:

  • HB 1272 would allow public bodies to opt out of prevailing wage laws for public works projects that are $750,000 or less.
  • HB 1293 would repeal provisions relating to prevailing wages on public works.
  • HB 1561 would exempt third and fourth-class counties from prevailing wage laws.
  • HB 1562 would exempt third and fourth-class counties from prevailing wage laws for public works projects less than $500,000.


Right to Work

HCR 102 was introduced and read for the first and second times last month.  This resolution would move the election date for voting on the referendum on right to work legislation passed in 2017 from the November 2018 ballot to the August 7, 2018, ballot. Companion bill SCR 49 was referred to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee this week.

HJR 103 was read for the second time last month.  This bill would refer a right to work constitutional amendment to the ballot for the November 2018 election (or to the ballot for a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose).

New Jersey

Voting Rights/Automatic Voter Registration

This month the Senate passed SB 481, which would automatically register to vote applicants for new or renewed driver’s license or non-driver identification card. It would also allow for AVR by other state agencies.

New Mexico

Right to Work

McKinley County will hold a hearing on local right to work ordinance No. APR-18-002 on Tuesday, 4/17.  The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Otero County Commissioners passed a local right to work ordinance this month.  The ordinance can be found here.


Anti-Worker Measures

Six anti-worker measures remain before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.  These measures would refer anti-worker referenda to the November 2020 ballot. The measures would require passage by 3/5ths of the House and Senate before they could go to the ballot.  These measures are as follows:

●     Public sector right to work measure HJR 7 would refer a public sector right to work constitutional amendment to the ballot.  The measure would also eliminate exclusive representation.  

●     HJR 8 would refer a private sector right to work amendment to the state constitution to the ballot.  The measure also includes a provision to eliminate exclusive representation in the private sector. 

●     HJR 9 would refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot that would prohibit public authorities from requiring contractors to pay prevailing wage;

●     HJR 10 would refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot that would prohibit public authorities from requiring project labor agreements in contracts;

●     HJR 11 would refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot that would require public sector employee unions to be recertified on an annual basis. 

●     HJR 12 was introduced on 12/21.  This measure would refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot that would prohibit payroll deduction for union dues.  The measure would also prohibit unions from using dues or fees for purposes “in support of partisan politics or ideological causes not germane to the work of employee organizations in the realm of collective bargaining.”    



The Senate and House passed HB 2911 this month.  This bill would require high schools to provide information of apprenticeships as well as military options before graduating. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration.

Attacks on Payroll Deductions for Union Dues / Paycheck Deception

The House referred SB 960 to the Common Education Committee last month.  This bill would require that requests by school district employees to initiate payroll deduction for union dues and political contributions be written requests.  The bill would also allow written requests for termination of such deductions be made by email or fax.