The favorable Janus decision by the United States Supreme Court was announced yesterday. The Daily Journal covers it in the first piece below.
This is very big news. Especially in a state that is run by public employee union officials. One can only hope that it is a game changer and that it provides some appropriate fiscal relief in Sacramento.
Let me expand on this piece. As a result of public employee unions using a significant portion of the dues they collect to campaign for candidates and elected officials who decide on their salary and benefit packages, which is the largest conflict of interest in this industry, most municipalities find themselves in fiscal distress. My recently released Unrestricted Net Deficit Per Capita listings illustrate this tragic conundrum.
The significant amount of campaign “slush fund” cash allows unions as leverage and is extremely intimidating when negotiating with insecure elected officials at the bargaining table . Hopefully, future negotiations will be based on the merits of the proposals and not on the inference that another candidate will be backed to run against those currently in office. And, if the taxpayers are fortunate, maybe some of the fiscal benefit overreaches by the public employee unions of the past can be reversed in order to protect the financial sustainability of their public employers.
The Sacramento Bee provides an electronic piece on the reactions to the ruling in the second piece below. Here is the attachment to my noted Tweet:
The third piece is an electronic editorial in the Daily Breeze by the OC Register. It gives a shout out to my SB 247 (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-247-reducing-occupational-licensing-laws and MOORLACH UPDATE — Earning a Living — November 30, 2017) .
The fourth piece recognizes my Small Business of the Year recipient for 2018 in the Orange County Breeze. Bruce and Lisa Hughes were two of my Becker CPA Review Course instructors forty years ago. Both have also served with distinction on Orange County committees focused on the County’s fiscal well-being. Congratulations to a couple that have invested heavily over the decades in service to the County of Orange.
Supreme Court decision draws ire of local unions
Workers decry justices’ vote as barrier to benefits, quality work
- By Anna Schuessler Daily Journal staff
In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision cutting off unions’ ability to collect fees from non-union workers delivered Wednesday, those standing behind local labor unions expressed a mixture of disappointment and renewed energy around their efforts.
By striking down the use of mandatory fees paid by nonmembers of public worker unions toward collective bargaining activities, the court’s ruling marked an end to the collection of agency fees, or fair share fees, used toward the expenses of contract negotiations and grievance handling by public sector unions. Allowed in 22 states including California, the fees are less than union dues and may not be used for political activities. Unions are required to represent all workers whether or not they are union members.
The court’s 5-4 vote in an Illinois case in which a state worker, child support specialist Mark Janus, challenged the agency fees, split the nine justices, five of whom joined Justice Samuel Alito in asserting the fees violate the constitutional First Amendment right of free speech.
“We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern,” wrote Alito in his opinion.
Their decision sparked reactions from workers representing a wide array of unions as well as those shaping policy across the state, some of whom were buoyed and others who were discouraged by the news.
Representing the San Mateo Labor Council as its executive secretary-treasurer, Julie Lind Rupp condemned the decision as counter to the labor movement’s belief that all work has dignity, deserves respect and all workers deserve to be treated accordingly.
“In California, unions have partnered with progressive elected leaders to raise wages and reduce pay inequity, ensure all workers have paid sick days, enact paid family leave, strengthen workplace safety and so much more,” she said in a prepared statement. “Today, we commit to not only sustaining the labor movement, but building and strengthening it so more working people can negotiate a fair deal in return for their hard work.”
But for State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, the decision was not only a win for those workers who have had a portion of their paychecks go to causes they may not support, it was also a source of hope that the hold unions have had on their negotiators might loosen.
Moorlach looked to the change to limit unions from coming close to threatening elected officials at the negotiating table and unwind some of the effects of the “slush fund” they have amassed in Sacramento, which he said has been used to tie up a considerable number of taxpayer dollars.
“That is just unfair and inappropriate, so this should help the unions step up their game to focus on the merits of the deal,” he said.
Having worked at the Palo Alto wastewater treatment plant for some 23 years, Margaret Adkins, Palo Alto chapter chair of Service Employee International Union, Local 521, spoke to the benefits of collective bargaining, which she said enabled workers to adequately provide for their families. Without union representation, workers’ earnings are at the discretion of management, said Adkins, who added that though nobody is forced to pay dues, many opt to because they recognize they are better able to advocate for themselves if they do.
Adkins was not convinced the ruling would diminish the ability of unions to advocate for workers, and said it’s widely recognized that large, powerful industries are behind the push to take away workers’ rights.
“I’m disappointed in the decision but it’s not going to affect us negatively,” she said. “We’re strong, we’re getting stronger and everybody sees this as what it is — as an attack on workers’ rights.”
California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins agreed the decision was the result of a well-funded and nationally orchestrated effort to weaken the ability of workers to convene and speak in a united voice. By overturning precedence set by Abood v. Detroit Board of Education more than 40 years ago, the court’s ruling adopted a radical interpretation of the First Amendment and stands in the way of public teachers providing quality education for their students, said Heins.
“Today’s ruling is an attack on working people that attempts to further rig the economy and that reverses four decades of precedent,” said Heins in a prepared statement. “For educators, this an attempt to weaken our ability to stand up on behalf of our students and on behalf of quality public schools.”
Though Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, was still processing how the decision could play out, he voiced concern about its impact on working people throughout the country.
“I also fully expect California will continue to lead the way on worker rights and workplace protections,” he said in a statement. “Today is a stark reminder of the import of the U.S. Supreme Court on issues of the day and that elections do indeed matter.”
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
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Rapid response: Supreme Court’s Janus vs. AFSCME labor union ruling
BY BRYAN ANDERSON
State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa
“One week from today, we’ll celebrate our nation’s independence from British rule. Today we celebrate our independence from public employee union control over hard-working Americans.”
Sacramento Democrats kill another common sense occupational licensing reform bill
By salrodriguez |
Orange County Register
Editor’s note: Breaking views are thoughts from individual members of the editorial board on today’s headlines.
Democratic politicians like to present themselves as advocates for the poor and working California. In reality, Democrats in Sacramento are too often merely proponents of leveraging bigger government to the benefit of politically advantageous special interest groups to the detriment of poor and working Californians.
Their resistance to occupational licensing reform is a clear example of this tendency.
Occupational licensing is sold to the public as necessary for the protection of the public and the professionalization of industries. In reality, occupational licensing is mostly a scheme by which members of an occupation use government to erect barriers to entry, limit competition and thereby raise costs to consumers.
The Obama White House, Little Hoover Commission and the Trump administration alike have recognized the problems of overextended occupational licensing requirements.
As the Little Hoover Commission warned, licensing requirements punish the poor on at least two levels, “first by imposing significant costs on them should they try to enter a licensed occupation and second by pricing the services provided by licensed professionals out of reach.”
The Archbridge Institute has further noted an association nationwide between growth in occupational licensing and income inequality.
For those naive enough to take the progressive rhetoric of California Democratic politicians at face value, one might think Democrats would be open to reforming policies which punish the poor the most and aggravate income inequality.
Sure enough, the Democratic politicians in Sacramento would rather appease special interest groups than the poor.
On June 26, the Assembly’s Business and Professions committee overwhelmingly rejected a modest proposal to eliminate occupational licensing requirements for shampooing, arranging, dressing, curling, waving, cleansing or beautifying hair.
The bill, SB 999 from Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, was rejected with only 3 votes in favor, 14 opposed. These are the Assembly members who voted against it: Arambula, Bloom, Chiu, Cunningham, Eggman, Gipson, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Low, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Ting.
“I’m just trying to have government work for us not against us and be our servant, not our master,” Morrell appealed to the committee.
In response, this statement from Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, sums up the approach of the Democrats: “I think you bring up some very good points and certainly we don’t want a barrier to entry but … I won’t be supporting your bill …”
The bill faced opposition from the California Labor Federation, which complained that the bill would open up competition, saying “eliminating training requirements not only lowers the bar but floods the market with new, less qualified entrants — directly attacking workers’ bargaining power and almost certainly reducing wages.”
Of course, they intentionally conflated training requirements with occupational licensing. People who wish to make a living in shampooing, arranging, dressing, curling, waving, cleansing or beautifying hair will certainly learn how to do their jobs correctly and effectively, otherwise they wouldn’t get much business.
Predictably, the industry also complained, with the Professional Beauty Association arguing the bill “would be detrimental to the California beauty industry.” No it wouldn’t. They just don’t want competition.
Alas, California remains one of the most licensed states in the country. An Institute for Justice report looking at 102 lower-income occupations nationwide found that California licensed 76 of them, often with more onerous requirements than other states.
It should be noted this isn’t the first time the Democrats killed a licensing reform bill.
Last year, they killed a bill from Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, to repeal licensing requirements for a handful of lower-income jobs. It’s what they do.
While Democratic politicians might continue to fool poor Californians into thinking they’re on their side, the reality is the Democratic establishment cares only about self-preservation. Doing what’s right isn’t of interest to the Democratic establishment, only what is self-serving. It’s no wonder California leads the nation in poverty.
Sal Rodriguez is an editorial writer and columnist for the Southern California News Group. He may be reached at salrodriguez
Senator John Moorlach honored Hughes & Hughes, LLP 2018 California Small Business Association honoree
On June 19, 2018, Senator John Moorlach honored Hughes & Hughes, LLP, a prominent family law firm in Tustin as the 2018 California Small Business Association Honoree for Senate District 37.
Headed by partners Lisa and Bruce Hughes, the firm combines solid experience in complex family law issues with sensitivity to the emotions and feelings of their clients. All firm lawyers and legal aides help guide clients through the legal proceedings quickly to return each client to peace of mind and normalcy. The partners also work to lend legal expertise to successfully improve the laws of the State of California.
In particular, Bruce and Lisa Hughes worked with Senator Moorlach from 2015-16 to pass Senate Bill 1255, which clarified a previous California Supreme Court decision which blurred the date of separation guidelines for dissolving marriages. SB 1255 became the first bill from Senator Moorlach that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, becoming California Family Code Section 70.
Like Senator Moorlach, both Bruce and Lisa are Certified Public Accountants, enabling them to handle the most intricate accounting and financial practices typical to unique circumstances.
From their Orange County base, Hughes & Hughes serves families throughout Southern California.
This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.
Senator John Moorlach honored Hughes & Hughes, LLP as the 2018 California Small Business Association Honoree. Courtesy photo.
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