LANSING (WWJ) – Right-to-work legislation will likely be on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk to be signed sometime next week. Some people have said this has been rushed though the Michigan legislature.
Not true, says House Speaker Jase Bolger.
“This debate has been around in Michigan for decades,” Bolger, R-Marshall, said in a live interview Friday on WWJ Newsradio 950. “This debate has been in this legislature for two years. We … I’ve been openly talking about it.
“The governor said this is a contentious issue, he used the word divisive — but it’s time to make a decision,” Bolger said.
The bills, which passed in the state House and Senate late Thursday, would prohibit unions from collecting mandatory dues from workers.
Democrats contended Republicans, who lost five House seats in the November election, wanted to act before a new legislature takes office next month.
Bolger says Michigan has been losing jobs to other states — and this legislation will help.
“We sit so close, literally bordering Indiana, who recently made that change [to right-to-work], and we see their opportunities growing. We see their … economic development group reporting new deals, new business coming in and people openly saying it’s because of this change,” Bolder said.
It’s not quite a done deal. There is still work to do next week, said Bolger.
“The Senate adopted two bills and sent them over to the House. The House passed one that is now temporarily still in the House. So the House will convene on Tuesday and we can take up those two Senate bills — or two bills from the Senate, they’re actually one House bill — and the other from the Senate, debate those and cast the votes.
“If they pass they’ll technically go back to the Senate before going to the governor,” Bolger said.
Gov. Rick Snyder, who had on multiple previous occasions said the issue was on not his agenda, has been speaking out in support of right-to-work and is expected to sign the bills.
View the so-called “Freedom to Work” bills here:
Opponents, including union leaders, say right-to-work states have lower. UAW President Bob King called the bills’ passage was “a very partisan, polarizing attack.”