LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder is asking the Michigan Supreme Court to rule quickly on the constitutionality of a right-to-work law that takes effect in two months.
The Republican governor said Monday he wants to resolve the uncertainty over the law’s impact on state employees because new contract talks will begin this summer.
If the high court grants Snyder’s request for an advisory opinion, it could thwart opponents’ plans to file lawsuits. Snyder is hoping for a ruling before the court’s term ends in July.
He said protracted litigation would be “very divisive” and not serve the interests of “judicial economy.”
In short, right-to-work laws end requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Supporters insist it will boost the economy and job creation while opponents say right-to-work drains unions of money and weakens their ability to bargain for good wages and benefits.
An estimated 10,000 union members and supporters took the state Capitol last month to voice their opinion on the issue. According to figures release Monday, it cost the state an additional $900,000 to finance a state police presence over a three-day period of demonstrations. (More on this here).
Unions say they’re considering all legal options to challenge and block the law. The head of the United Auto Workers Union, Bob King, said he believes right-to-work will eventually be overturned in Michigan, and he believes some lawmakers who pushed for right-to-work will be pushed out of office.
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