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Your Guide to Right-to-Work Bills (And How our Local Lawmakers Voted)

Legislation passed last week in the Michigan House and Senate could reach Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature by Tuesday. Leave a comment or upload a photo if you participate in related demonstrations!

Demonstrators took to the Capitol steps Monday in Lansing to sound off on right-to-work legislation that is poised to become law after Gov. Rick Snyder did an abrupt about-face on the issue last week and a series of related bills passed in the House and Senate.

Larger protests are expected Tuesday when the legislation could reach Snyder's desk for his signature. Patch will be live-blogging from Lansing as the situation develops.

[Are you participating in the demonstrations? Leave a comment, upload a photo or e-mail Rochester Patch.]

Read on for a description of each bill and to find out how lawmakers who represent Rochester and Rochester Hills voted.

House Bill 4054

The legislation that would make Michigan a "right-to-work" state was passed 58 to 52 in the House on Dec. 6, according to michiganvotes.org. The bill would prohibit unions from requiring workers to pay dues as a term of employment. It also includes a $1 million appropriation to make it "referendum-proof," michiganvotes.org reports. (Visit legislature.mi.gov to download the full bill.)

  • Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, voted yes.

Senate Bill 116

The legislation that would make Michigan a "right-to-work" state was passed 22 to 16 in the Senate on Dec. 6, according to michiganvotes.org. The bill would prohibit unions from requiring workers to pay dues as a term of employment. It also includes a $1 million appropriation to make it "referendum-proof," michiganvotes.org reports. (Visit legislature.mi.gov to download the full bill.)

  • Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Orion, voted yes.

House Bill 4003

The legislation that would extend right-to-work regulations to government and school employees passed 22 to 4 in the Senate on Dec. 6. It passed 63 to 46 in the House on June 8, 2011, according to michiganvotes.org. (Visit legislature.mi.gov to download the full bill.)

  • Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, voted yes.
Elizabeth Brower December 12, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Snyder raised taxes on Pensioners $4,650 per year, and no one, not even Grover Norquist, gave a hoot. Now a larger (i.e., union) constituency gets to feel his right-wing, "Protect only the Wealthy Capitalists" wrath! We got what we voted for, and our only choice comes in the next election!
Lianne Mathie December 12, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Back on point to my point. Tit for tat Mike? Please address the actual comment I made.
Richard Happening December 12, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Elizabeth, anyone earning enough to pay $4650 a year in STATE TAX on their PENSION is wealthy. Please check your math. Paying that much tax to Michigan each year would mean that the taxpayer has PENSION income of more than $100,000/yr. If, and I do mean IF one were able to generate a 5% yield on their investments, they would need more than 2 million dollars in savings to generate $100,000/yr in income. Pensions generally are guaranteed and last a lifetime. Again, someone affected (as you say) by a $4650 tax INCREASE is certainly "wealthy" by most anyone's definition.
doug December 12, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Taxes were raised on public pensioners who were getting a free pass even though private pensioners were required to pay state taxes ..They also grandfathered it for current retirees. If that is your argument, you may find the vast majority of citizens who didn't get that special benefit may not be very sympathetic. In this case, the unions could have avoided this completely.. They elected to push for a constitutional amendment on collective bargaining, even though they were told by everyone what would happen if they lost. The democrats in the state need to take a hard look at their leadership. A lot of bad choices..
Mike Reno December 12, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Richard... Would that $100K be the adjusted gross? After deductions, like mortgage interest, property taxes, and maybe medical expenses?
Richard Happening December 12, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Yes Mike- which would make that person even more "wealthy"
Scot Beaton December 12, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Mike Reno... I'm 57... so the conclusion from this math is -- WOW Hefty School Employee Pensions Burden State Taxpayers At 57, retiree would get $94K a year increasing to $204K a year over time "When Flint Community Schools Superintendent Linda Thompson made news that she was going to retire, what was missed was the fiscal impact of her leaving the school system. Thompson worked 36 years for the Flint school district and will be 57 when she retires. A public school employee who worked 36 years for Flint schools and made Thompson's average salary of $175,649 the past three years would earn a pension of $94,850 a year. If that 57-year-old retiree received a pension for the 26 years of his or her life expectancy with a 3 percent cost of living annual increase, it would grow to $204,552 a year." -- By Tom Gantert | Nov. 19, 2012 http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17959 Mike... what future generation is going to be able to afford that?
Amy December 12, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Look at all the old white men commenting on this issue..all Republican. Old white men, your time is limited. I know you are just grasping for whatever power you have left, but you are now in the minority and changes are coming.
Mike Reno December 12, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Scot... I was tossing what is called a softball... queuing it up for Richard to further drive his point home. And I can't believe that you read my friend Tom's articles!
Richard Happening December 12, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Amy, I am not old. But my age or my race or my sex shouldn't matter. I presented cold hard facts and you went straight to areas that are used to determine discrimination under many federal and state laws. Nice job. I would gladly challenge you to a 5-mile race on the trail of your choice and happily post our respective times on Rochester Patch. Should you prevail, I would refrain from any postings for a period of five years.
Scot Beaton December 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Mike... Like you, I like to read a variety of posts on any subject. Jack Lessenberry does an excellent job writing and formulating opinions on issues that affect our Michigan Government too. Like you, and open mind and research should be everyone's goal before making a personal opinion or a policy statement on any issue. To call out anyone's opinion or "ignore the people who act childish, they will eventually give up because they just become meaningless noise and add nothing to the conversation"... we know who wrote that comment is just wrong, and demonstrates that there are those out there who will continue to look at the world with blinders on; which in my opinion is very sad. Mike... Happy Holidays, thanks for your response I like Tom Gantert too. Right-wing Power Grab By Jack Lessenberry Published: December 12, 2012 http://metrotimes.com/columns/right-wing-power-grab-1.1415000 P.S. Tom Gantert and Jack Lessenberry -- lets both agree when looking for a way to formulate a personal opinion we may not have to agree with everything they write but we do enjoy their words, and others as a source for information.
Meredith McCutcheon December 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Richard, could you clarify for me who you think is overpaid exactly?
Paul Merlo December 12, 2012 at 04:41 PM
If it's on the intra-webs, then it must be true: http://www.eclectablog.com/2012/12/breaking-americans-for-prosperity-stages-phony-altercation-at-michigan-right-to-work-rally.html
Scot Beaton December 12, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Paul... great find thanks -- thanks for the post!
Bob December 12, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Where's the thumbs up button
Mike Reno December 12, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Well, if combatant Tom Duckworth says he saw it... and says so on the intra-webs... then I guess everything else we with our own eyes in the dozens of videos must be fabricated. Who is Tom Duckworth, anyway?
Georgie Boy December 12, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Hey, there must be a reason I wake up today and feel like I have been transported back in time to 1983 Leningrad. Too bad I dont have any of my Michigan State sweatshirts and walkmen to sell on the black market. ( too bad I couldnt have been dreaming and actually found myself in 1983 Finland). This country is on its way to becoming a third world country faster than anyone could imagine. My question is, where will these billion and trillionaires live that will protect them from the toxic air, water, and food they are creating as they demolish our planet at lightning speed. Gated communities can only protect you from so much and militia will only protect you from the angry mobs not disease. We all still have to share this planet and there are some things money can't buy! You can buy a view but you can't maintain that the water you swim in is safe and the air you sunbathe in is breathable. Greed breeds myopia!
Richard Happening December 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
I need that clean air for my run against Amy. Thanks Georgie Boy!!!!
Amy December 12, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I call it as I see it. I'm not afraid to voice what others are thinking and just won't say. I didn't specifically name any names on this, Richard. If you took it personally, that is your choice. If you think that this issue doesn't involve age, race and income level, then you are misinformed. History repeats itself. Michigan and many other states are on the brink of entering into class warfare, if we haven't already. Go ahead and run your race. What a ridiculous proposition. It has nothing to do with my previous statement and I don't feel the need to prove myself to anyone. Your sensitivity toward my statement is your problem; not mine.
Mike Reno December 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Another silver lining out of the cloud from yesterday: Early today, Clint Tarver, known as "The Hot Dog Guy" here in Lansing had his business attacked by out of line and out of control protesters near the Capitol. Everyone who has passed the hot dog cart knows what a kind and caring individual Clint is. He never fails to bestow a smile or friendly greeting. In no way he he provoke this attack, nor any of the behavior displayed toward him. Regardless of your position on current legislation, rebuilding Clint's Hot Dogs is something we can all support. Please give what you can to get this deserving businessman back out there! (Photo Credit to Nick Hawatmeh via Rob Macomber) http://www.gofundme.com/SupportClint
Lianne Mathie December 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Pending Approval Lianne Mathie 7:04 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Mike, you are a amazing magician! My hat is off to you. Now, Dear Sir, answer the real question I posed. I personally voted no on 2 and 4. I have had to pay off unions to leave us alone when we load in our display at trade shows. Over payed to have a light bulb changed in New York at another trade show. I have no great love for unions. My point being these over fed, over eager, freeloading Reps and Senators in Lansing have not much of a leg to stand on in terms of credibility, by fast tracking a bill that really should have gone before the voters in IMHO. But that's all good with you. right? ;)
Lianne Mathie December 13, 2012 at 12:25 AM
As I was saying, but Patch never posted. Lianne Mathie 7:04 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Mike, you are a amazing magician! My hat is off to you. Now, Dear Sir, answer the real question I posed. I personally voted no on 2 and 4. I have had to pay off unions to leave us alone when we load in our display at trade shows. Over payed to have a light bulb changed in New York at another trade show. I have no great love for unions. My point being these over fed, over eager, freeloading Reps and Senators in Lansing have not much of a leg to stand on in terms of credibility, by fast tracking a bill that really should have gone before the voters in IMHO. But that's all good with you. right? ;)
Richard Happening December 13, 2012 at 02:07 AM
After 7 boxes of Kleenex, I think I am going to make it.
Mike Reno December 13, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Lainne, I am not particularly impressed with our legislature as a whole. Aside from little bursts like this, they have not shown remarkable leadership. Having said that, I am not sure see their actions here as an epic fail. Refer to my comments to your previous post. I would've thought it would've been a great opportunity to be more public about it, in an effort to trumpet the positive effects of RTW in the press. In retrospect, given the violent reaction of the thugs, maybe they made the right decision?
Mike Reno December 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Compulsory is the problem, Jon. You are forcing people to pay a third party as a condition of employment. As far as taxes... they are an unfortunate but necessary condition of US residency. You can't see the difference between residency and employment?
Georgie Boy December 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
" In these days of changing ways......so called, liberated days.....story comes to mind, a friend of mine......." Rod Stewart 1976. So, how far have we come since then? And, how much of history would we like to repeat? I personally, would like to skip much of it. As much as I love Elvis, am not really looking forward to reliving the fifties! And Betsy and Dick Devos are not what I call real 'environmentalists' so may want to rethink the company you keep:)
Georgie Boy December 13, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Happy Holidays.....always good to get a shout out from you.......keeps both of us on our toes:) ( And on a side note, your friends in Lansing could be a little more polite about their timing. As most of us in the audience on Monday night were NOT so pleased to hear what Dr. M. had to say, despite knowing darn well the content before setting foot in the place. I myself was looking forward to a little break from politics......as there are domestic 'things' to be done before Dec 25th. You see, I dont get paid for my participation in our democracy.) As always, give my regards to 'Loverboy'. I am always reminded of that 'Loverboy' song 'Paradise' from the movie 'Footloose'. As life in this town sometimes feels like a scene from that movie. But really, have been listening to a lot of Rod Stewart these days........helps to keep a smile on my face through these tumultuous times! Here......lets sing together, shall we? "Never Wait or Hesitate......Get in Good before its TOO LATE, you may never get another Chance! Cause Youth's a Mask, but it don't last, LIVE it long and LIVE it FAST,.......... Georgie was a Friend of Mine.....................duh duh duh duh duh duh......duh da duh duh da duh uhhh............................................................................................................Oh Georgie Staaaaaay.......Dont Go awaaaay...... ...........Georgie Please Staaaaay.........You Take OUR Breath Away!"
Jon Awbrey December 13, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I see this as State interference with contracts. Businesses sign exclusive contracts with each other all the time, and their owners would be outraged if the state interfered with their freedom to do so. I don't see a labor contract as any different from that. Imagine your company signs a contract with another company that makes your company the exclusive provider of specified goods and services to the other company for a specified fee for a specified time. Suppose the State passes a law saying that any other individual or company who wants to violate that contract has some kind of “Right To Weasel” into your business any time they feel like it. Suppose some individual or company does just that, and the company you contracted with decides that your contract is void, because the other source “adds more value” to their bottom line. Imagine the hue and cry against you when when you protest: “This is about freedom and choice. If your company adds value the other company will observe the contract pay your fees. If your company does not add value the other company will not pay your fees.”
Mike Reno December 20, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Still stewing about this? You make an interesting point, at first glance. But analogy you offer is too simplistic, and you forget that the government does have laws that will interceded... in the case of monopolistic practices. That is really what these labor contracts are. You seem to think that businesses freely enter into these labor contracts, and that is HUGE stretch. Yes, they do approve them, but what choice do they have? I guess they could chose between signing and closing shop? You view it as "Right to Weasel"; we view it as "Extortion Abatement"
Mike Reno December 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Oh... and that is just from the business perspective. From the labor perspective, you are still forcing someone to pay a third party for a service that they may or may not want. If they union is good, employees will welcome their representation. When was the last time the UAW held a vote to see if people still wanted a union?

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