This morning, the Senate State Affairs Committee agreed to print a bill that would prohibit collective bargaining by public sector unions. However, sponsor Sen. Shirley McKague (R-Meridian) said she has no desire for the committee to hold hearing on the bill this year. This is not an atypical maneuver for legislators. It gives them time to get their concept printed and out in the field for “public dialogue” before they come back the next year with serious legislation.
When asked whether this was her idea and, if not, who encouraged her to bring the bill, McKague answered that there has been quite a bit of discussion among some folks she’s been talking with and she just followed up on the conversations. Here’s an excerpt from Wayne Hoffman’s Idaho Reporter site, which covered the event:
“I’m expecting the unions to holler,” said McKague, who said she’d bring back the plan next year. “It probably won’t be passed next year, but it needs to be discussed, in a friendly manner hopefully.” McKague said there’s no vendetta behind the plan, which explicitly says that the state would promote harmonious and cooperative relationships between the government and its workers.
The committee agreed to introduce the plan, but it’s not certain the lawmakers would support it next year. “This bill comes as quite a surprise,” Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise said. “I would have some serious questions I’d want to have answered about what you’re trying to accomplish and what’s the problem here.”