Leidiger “authors” ALEC right-to-work constitutional amendment

If we know one thing about Rep. Ernie Leidiger, it’s that he’s always looking for his own special ways to squeeze more efficiency out of state government.  We’ve talked in the past about his support of misguided policies like the 15/15 proposal.  Well, he’s found a way to bring that ethos to his own job as a state legislator.  Last week, Leidiger (and several other legislators) were listed as authors on H.F. 3009, a new version of a constitutional amendment to institute the so-called “right to work” regulations in Minnesota workplaces.

Leidiger and his co-horts have lived up to their own proposals by outsourcing the work of actually, you know, writing legislation — instead doing a copy-and-paste job from model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  This isn’t exactly a novel approach from the Republican caucus, though.  Some analyses show over 60 bills share the same “copy-and-paste” method.

Let’s look at one section from the two bills and see just how much this holds true:

H.F. 3009 text:

1.6 An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the
1.7 amendment is adopted, a section shall be added to article I, to read:
1.8 Sec. 18. (a) No person shall be required as a condition of obtaining or continuing
1.9 employment to: (1) resign or refrain from membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or
1.10 voluntary financial support of a labor organization; (2) become or remain a member of a
1.11 labor organization; (3) pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of any kind or
1.12 amount, or provide anything else of value, to a labor organization; or (4) pay to any charity
1.13 or other third party an amount equivalent to, or a portion of, dues, fees, assessments,
1.14 or other charges required of members of a labor organization.

ALEC Bill:

Section 4. {Freedom of choice guaranteed, discrimination prohibited.} No
person shall be required, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment:
(A) to resign or refrain from voluntary membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or
voluntary financial support of a labor organization;
(B) to become or remain a member of a labor organization;
(C) to pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of any kind or amount to a labor
(D) to pay to any charity or other third party, in lieu of such payments, any amount
equivalent to or a pro-rata portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges regularly
required of members of a labor organization;

This wording is almost exact.  You can review the other sections of the bill and find the rest of the amendment is built similarly.

Which leads me to my next thought — instead of electing individual Republican legislators, we can subcontract with ALEC to have one person that can write all the bills and press the voting button for everyone in the caucus.  The salary and per diem savings will be significant, don’t you think?


One Response to “Leidiger “authors” ALEC right-to-work constitutional amendment”

  1. Your partisanship is showing again. What’s the big deal? ALEC fosters an exchange of ideas and policies for many state legislators across the country. These policies come together through the work of its members. When crafting legislation similiar to other states who have successfully implmented these bills, why not leveragee what has already been written and proven to work elesewhere. Why not have common blueprints for language on certain issues that can be shared from state to state? It’s a great idea. ALEC gathers common segments of successful legislation from it’s members, who in turn share that with other members. I fail to see a negative here. As a legislator, you take one of theese templates, and adjust to conditions within your state. That’s just good practice. In the IT world, we do these things all of the time. We have code stores on the internet where somewhere someone has trird to solve the same problem I might be having. Would it be more efficient to start from scratch than to start with another’s template? I guess it depends upon how long it takes to find it, and how close it is to what you’re trying to acheive. I have memberships just for this purpose, and it makes me more effective as a code writer. You are exposed to more ways of addressing issues, when you step out and look at how others have solved similiar problems, or it may just trigger another good idea in your own head. And you modify and move on. I applaud this use, and I’m almost certain your liberal buddies do the same thing. Why start from scratch on something that’s been addressed successfully elsewhere? Its inefficient to do so!

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