“This week I voted to not support the override of the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1229.
I have studied this matter and have talked with several on the ramifications of this bill. I support the labor movement’s right to collectively bargain and the right to strike.
I want nothing more than for an agreement to be reached soon on a contract that is fair to AFSCME members, and that state taxpayers can afford. The best way to achieve that is through continued negotiation, as was recently achieved with the Teamsters, not premature arbitration. This bill changes the rules in the middle of the process.
I continue to believe that Senate Bill 1229 is detrimental to both sides: it strips the union members of their hard-fought right to strike, and it strips the taxpayers of any representation in a major decision that greatly impacts our state budget. We’re talking about billions of dollars, but with this bill, the final decision is made by an arbitrator that is not accountable to you and me.”
-State Representative Tom Bennett