Update, 5/8: Colorado LOSES has a great idea about what to do with HB 1181. If Republicans can’t kill it, the least they should do is offer an amendment to ensure transparency of state employee union finances. In the waning days of the legislative session, is anyone up to the challenge?
Days before the legislature adjourns, some Democrats are pushing a proposal that would guarantee unions could still collect dues from state employees — even if the next governor is not union-friendly.
The effort comes in the form of an amendment to House Bill 1181, a mostly technical bill dealing with policies of the Department of Personnel and Administration. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, added an amendment in committee Wednesday that essentially would cement into law Gov. Bill Ritter’s 2007 executive order that allows unions to deduct membership fees from a state worker’s check, if the employee consents.
Besides the policy history and ramifications, which the story largely gets right, the HB 1181 union buy-off just screams something at me. What is it, you ask? Statehouse Democrats recognize they already have pushed the Eject button on their monopoly State Capitol power and in the waning days of the legislative session are now pushing the Panic button. From their perspective, the time to help entrench union power in state government is now — before they lose their own levers of power.
The Democrats see the political storm clouds coming. They are preparing to lose control of one or both houses of the state legislature, and maybe even the governor’s office. Of course, that doesn’t mean this fall’s election results are some kind of inevitably. Instead, now is the time for conservatives to keep their eyes on the ball and shrewdly seize the opportunities presented them.
I’ve been busy of late, but I’m planning to update my predictions of the state house and senate races soon. And for those who have been asking, my colleagues and I are working out the last technical glitches and preparing to launch a new Survey of Colorado’s Political Temperature for the month of May. Thank you for your patience: Stay tuned….