Poison Pills Tarnish State Legislative Session

In between bills dealing with education, roads and taxes, anti-worker legislators tried to sneak in numerous poison pills this legislative session.

Their bad bills tried to bust our union, cut funding to the Department of Revenue and remove seniority for teachers, just to name a few.

In 2018, when it comes time to vote, don’t forget who tried to enact these anti-worker poison pills. Vote to elect a worker-friendly Governor and House.

SHUTTING DOWN STATE FUNDING

Republican leaders snuck in a provision to eliminate funding for the Minnesota Department of Revenue for two years if Gov. Dayton didn’t sign the tax bill.

That would have affected more than 1,500 jobs in Revenue.

It would have partially shut down state government: That department takes in the state’s revenue for education, local government aid, social services, highways and numerous other services.

WISCONSIN-STYLE MANEUVERS

At the last minute during the special session, GOP leaders tweaked a few words in a bill that seemed innocent, but would have made AFSCME negotiate state contracts directly with legislators.

The bill would have hurt our union and made it nearly impossible for workers to get a raise, health insurance or a fair contract.

EDUCATION

The legislation removed seniority rights for teachers in case of layoffs.

It changed licensing requirements so people without professional training could end up in the classroom.

It also provided a 2 percent increase in per-pupil funding the next two years, which isn’t enough to prevent layoffs in some districts.

PITTING WORKERS AGAINST EACH OTHER

House and Senate leadership tried to get the Governor to approve a corporate interference measure he had vowed to veto for weeks.

They loaded up the "preemption" bill to make the Governor choose between groups of workers. They tried to force him to either strip 150,000 workers of paid sick time or veto paid parental leave for state workers. Dayton figured how to avoid this trap, which sought to erode local control, and keep parental leave intact.

RAIDING THE GENERAL FUND

The transportation bill doesn’t provide enough money for design, inspection or maintenance of the roads and bridges we already have.

The bill takes $320 million from the General Fund, which means cuts to other services to fund transportation. That’s despite a $1.65 billion surplus. It’s not sustainable: It breaks the budget and creates an ongoing structural deficit.