Feb 7, 2007

HB 2079 needs fixing

If I had ten dollars, and you gave me ten dollars more, and then I spent ten dollars on beer and cigarettes, would you be responsible for my binge? No, I could argue: I spent "my" ten dollars, and kept "your" ten.

That's what's at issue in the WEA's auditing, at least according to the WEA's version of the agency shop fees case. Now, in order to clarify state law, WEA-friendly (make that WEA-supported) representatives and senators have introduced a bill to allow the sort of accounting described above. As HB 2079 would have it,
A labor organization does not use agency shop fees when it uses its general treasury funds to make such contributions or expenditures if it has sufficient revenues from sources other than agency shop fees in its general treasury to fund such contributions or expenditures.
Sound Politics' Stefan Sharkansky calls it an "end run" around Davenport vs. WEA.

I've spent a while trying to figure out the case, and though I agree with the bill's purpose, its "emergency clause" strikes me as procedurally savvy, but unnecessarily divisive. It only pours kerosene on the EFF's fire, and makes the WEA look desperate in the face of a potential SCOTUS smackdown. Nix those lines, and send it to the House (and its sister to the Senate) for debate.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I was at a Uniserv meeting Tuesday night and my rep told me that the WEA was working on getting the laws changed so that Davenport would be irrelevant (they fully expect to lose); I see now what he was talking about. Thanks for pointing it out!