If you want to get a clear picture of the differences in between the two main political parties, you need look no further than Michigan this week. The differences between the parties could not be clearer … or starker.
This week Democrats called for a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee workers the right bargain collectively. Private AND public workers.
House and Senate Democratic leaders called Tuesday for a state constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to collective bargaining for all employees in the public and private sectors.
The resolution would require a two-thirds approval of both the House and Senate to be placed on the 2012 election ballot. Republicans hold sizable majorities in both chambers.
Otherwise, it would take a statewide petition drive to muster enough signatures for a ballot spot.
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said the proposal is modeled after constitutional guarantees for collective bargaining in several other states.
She and House Minority Leader Richard Hammel, D-Flushing, said they plan to introduce a joint resolution this week.
With Governor Snyder claiming he supports workers’ rights to collective bargaining, Democrats are calling his bluff and asking him to join them in supporting this move.
Given his track record, we’re not holding our breath.
What have Republicans been up to? The Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS) reports that, this week, Republicans and Democrats voted along party lines on moving a package of four bills out of a House committee that deal with facilitating consolidation of local government services. Republicans voted unanimously to move the bills out of committee, Democrats voted against it. Why did the Democrats vote against it?
Because, under the bills — HB 4309, HB 4310, HB 4311 and HB 4312 — local government officials who are consolidating services aren’t obliged to honor the labor contracts of the prior working arrangement, meaning some previously bargained benefits could be eliminated.
A bipartisan group of three Democrats and three Republicans tried to hammer out a compromise but, in the end, the group’s recommendations were ignored and the four bills moved out of committee.
So there’s a perfect picture of the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in Michigan:
Democrats are trying to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.
Republicans are greasing the skids for local governments to toss out rights collectively bargained for.
I have a feeling I’m going to get a lot of use out of this picture I took at the rally on Wednesday:
I’m just sayin’…