On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay agency fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. Lawmakers nationwide have since taken up legislation in response to Janus. The summary below is a detailed account of legislative activity in the year since the Janus decision came down.
2019 post-Janus activity: As of June 14, 31 state legislatures have considered 101 bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
Breakdown by state: Oregon has had 10 relevant bills introduced this year—more than any other state (none of these have yet been enacted, although two have cleared both chambers of the state legislature). Pennsylvania and Washington have followed close behind with nine and eight bills, respectively.
Partisan split: Of the 101 bills introduced nationwide, Democrats have sponsored 51. Republicans have sponsored 38. Bipartisan groups or committees have sponsored the rest.
2018 post-Janus activity: Between June 27, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, the Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania legislatures took up a total of seven bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
Breakdown by state: Pennsylvania had four relevant bills introduced post-Janus in 2018. One relevant bill was introduced in each of the three remaining states during that period.
Partisan split: Republicans introduced four of the seven bills. Bipartisan groups or committees sponsored the other three.
Bills enacted since Janus: Three bills have been enacted since Janus. These are detailed below. Another five bills introduced this year have cleared state legislatures but have yet to be enacted.
– Delaware SB8: This bill establishes compensation as a mandatory subject of collective bargaining efforts.
– Nevada SB135: This bill provides for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
– Washington HB1575: This bill declared that public employers and public-sector unions are not liable for claims involving agency fees paid to unions prior to Janus. It repealed statutes requiring employees to join unions or pay dues as a condition of employment. It also amended dues deduction authorization laws, allowing authorizations to be initiated via electronic, voice, or written communication and requiring authorizations to be discontinued by a written request made to the union.
To mark the one-year anniversary of Janus, we will be examining its effects in three special issues of Union Station and a webinar.
June 14 Union Station: Legislative activity in the wake of Janus
June 21 Union Station: Litigation activity post-Janus
June 26 webinar: Join us for a 30-minute discussion of Janus and its effects on legislation and union membership.
June 28 Union Station: Effect on union membership