Author

Janie Valentine

Janie Valentine is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Seven candidates running in Democratic primary for governor of Hawaii

Seven candidates are running in the Democratic primary for governor of Hawaii on Aug. 13. Incumbent David Ige (D) is term-limited.

Vicky Cayetano, Joshua Green, and Kaiali’i Kahele lead in polling and media attention.

Cayetano co-founded Hawaii’s largest laundry company and served as president and CEO for 34 years. Cayetano said, “My record of building a business of a thousand employees and supporting our community is one of action and results.” She said, “I have a vision, I make payroll, know how to be a CEO. Government should be run like business. We keep talking about the same issues, and we need a new perspective. It’s time for a new perspective to solve the problems.” In 1997, Cayetano married Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano (D), who served as governor until 2002.

Green is Hawaii’s current lieutenant governor and an emergency room physician. He said, “I’m running for Governor because Hawaii needs elected leaders we can trust — to tell us the truth, keep us safe and informed, to care about working families, and to be transparent and accountable to the people.” Green highlighted his role serving as COVID liaison while lieutenant governor. A campaign ad said, “Hawaii got through COVID with the lowest infection rate in the nation.”

Kahele, a veteran and lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard, was elected to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020. Kahele said, “Congress established our great state in 1959 on the condition that the State of Hawaiʻi would establish and manage the ceded Public Land Trust for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and the general public. Ensuring that the state restores its kuleana to manage this public trust is a foundation of my platform for governor.” Kahele says he is “running for governor on a grassroots, publicly funded campaign[.]” He said, “While other candidates are taking corporate money and checks of up to $6,000, I will not accept donations from any individual of more than a hundred bucks.”

Affordable housing has been a central theme in the race. Cayetano’s campaign website said, “[I]n addition to accelerating housing projects that are specific to Native Hawaiians and are taking place within the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL), I would make the availability of affordable rental housing my highest priority. I propose a massive five year recurring statewide affordable rental housing plan to significantly increase the number of affordable rental housing units for Hawaii’s families.” 

As part of Green’s 10-point housing plan, he said that he would “[i]mmediately issue an executive order to all state and county housing agencies to speed up construction of affordable housing by eliminating red tape, streamlining processes and approvals, and coordinating efforts to address the crisis.” 

Kahele said he would “[build] targeted workforce housing; [develop] fee mechanisms through tax-exempt bonds and bond activity caps; and [build] out housing plans specific to urban Honolulu and the rest of the state.”

Cayetano, Green, and Kahele disagree on the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope project, a plan to construct a $2.65 billion telescope on the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano. Cayetano supports the project, Kahele opposes the plans as they stand, and Green expressed disappointment in the handling of the project, saying he supported large projects like the telescope if they were done with respect between cultures.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser‘s Dan Nakaso, the candidates also disagree on the legalization of recreational marijuana. Nakaso wrote, “Kahele and Green support legalizing recreational marijuana, with caveats, while Cayetano is opposed.”

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Democratic or safe Democratic. Ige was first elected in 2014 and won re-election in 2018 by a margin of 29 percentage points. Democrats have had trifecta control of Hawaii state government since 2011.

Also running in the primary are David “Duke” Bourgoin, Richard Kim, Clyde Lewman, and Van Tanabe.



Union Station: Senate staffers announce formation of New York State Legislative Workers United

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Senate staffers announce formation of New York State Legislative Workers United

Seventy-nine New York State Senate staffers announced the formation of the New York State Legislative Workers United (NYSLWU) and said they intend to seek voluntary recognition from Senate leadership when a majority of staffers sign on.

The unionization effort

In a July 15 public letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D), the staffers wrote

“We are the newly formed New York Legislative Workers United, a collection of staffers in a range of positions representing senate offices across the state. … [W]e write to you today to share our intention to present our union for voluntary recognition, and put our trust that your long history of fighting for the working people of New York will guide your decision making as we take our organizing efforts public. 

“At this stage, we have collected cards from both constituent service staffers and legislative staffers representing multiple regions in the state. Given the nature of our work and the strong culture of union support in New York State, learning our rights as public sector employees under the Taylor Law has been central to our organizing to date[.] … We have retained counsel, and look forward to presenting you with a critical mass of signed cards for voluntary recognition in the near future. … 

“In the coming months, we will share more on our democratically decided demands, anticipated bargaining unit, and timeline for voluntary recognition. At this stage, our intention is merely to make ourselves known, so that we can continue to organize in public without fear of retaliation.”

According to the Albany Times Union’s Chris Bragg, attorneys from Levy Ratner represent the NYSLWU. 

City & State’s Sara Dorn wrote, “Members said talks among staffers began before the pandemic, and the first official meeting was held in January. Union organizers said they hope to enlist a majority of the 700-some staffers before seeking official recognition from the Senate Majority Leader. If the leader recognizes the union, bargaining would begin. If the leader rejects the union, it could file for an election with the Public Employee Relations Board, which requires the support of 30% of all state Senate staffers. A bargaining contract would likely be approved as part of the state budget process, members said.” 

According to Bragg, “New York legislative employees’ jobs do not carry the same civil service protections as many executive branch workers.” 

Democrats have had trifecta control of New York state government since 2019. From 2011 to 2018, Republicans held a majority in the state Senate. The NYSLWU tweeted on July 15, “We are proud to announce both bicameral and bipartisan support for our movement—a movement made up of bicameral and bipartisan staffers and organizers.” 

Gothamist’s Jon Campbell wrote, “The Senate organizing effort comes on the heels of the [New York] City Council staff’s efforts. Staffers won recognition for their union late last year and are currently bargaining for a contract.” According to Dorn, “Organizing members of the state Senate staffers’ union said they have taken guidance from the [New York City Council] union.” 

Legislative staffers in Oregon were the first in the country to unionize when they voted to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in May 2021. (In Maine, legislative employees who perform nonpartisan duties have been able to unionize since 1999.) Massachusetts legislative staffers began a unionization effort earlier this year. 

Taylor Law questions 

The staffers’ letter said, “We have heard from many corners a false understanding that we do not have the right under state law to unionize[.] … [A]fter careful consultation with a range of legal experts we have learned that we do not need a bill in order to form a union as we are already included within the definition of ‘public employer’ under the Taylor Law.” 

The Taylor Law, or the New York State Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, governs public-sector labor relations in the state. According to Campbell, “The law lays out a number of public employers whose workers can collectively bargain, but it does not specifically mention the state Legislature.” 

The Empire Center’s Ken Girardin wrote that the question was “far from settled,” saying, “Absent a major change to the Taylor Law (and possibly the state Constitution), any arrangement that binds legislators or a legislative body to the terms of a union contract would raise a list of practical and legal issues, and a union would struggle to get state courts to enforce them.” The Empire Center says it “[promotes] public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.”

William A. Herbert, who directs the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining at Hunter College CUNY, said, “The exclusions are specific and there’s nothing under the Taylor Law that excludes legislative employees from unionizing, just as the employees of the judiciary in New York are unionized.”

Perspectives

Support

Astrid Aune, who serves as communications director for Sen. Jessica Ramos (D), said, “People come into this work really intending to do public service in a real way – write bills, serve constituents, get people resources, put money in their neighbors’ pockets. … That drive is very easily taken advantage of. So what we are looking for is some sort of uniformity and structure and really the same rights that we fight for for [sic] our constituents and every other public sector employee to be applied to us.” 

Sen. Julia Salazar (D) tweeted, “Every worker deserves a union, and legislative staff work extraordinarily tough jobs without job security. I support the state senate staff who are organizing as @NYSLWU and seeking to unionize.”

Sen. Jabari Brisport (D) said, “The inherent imbalance of power between individual workers and their bosses is a recipe for unjust treatment; when that boss is a lawmaker, the imbalance of power is even greater and more dangerous.”

Sen. Mike Martucci (R) tweeted, “Proud of this new effort & hope my staff signs on.”

Opposition

Girardin wrote: “[I]f a union contract were to spell out the hours of operation for the Senate (the way teachers union contracts often regulate the length of the school day), enforcing that would mean interfering with the legislative process—a major separation of powers issue. Of course, nothing can stop lawmakers from voluntarily agreeing to things they or their leadership might negotiate with a union (as members of the New York City Council so far have). Here lawmakers might soon get an unvarnished education about the added costs and reduced flexibility that public-sector collective bargaining has imposed on local governments and school districts for a half-century. And in that specific respect, ending the Legislature’s immunity from collective bargaining could have benefits for all New Yorkers.”

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 148 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

No public-sector union bills saw activity this week.


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Union Station: National ICE Council will separate from American Federation of Government Employees

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National ICE Council will separate from American Federation of Government Employees

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) announced on July 12 that it had filed paperwork with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to relinquish its representational interest in AFGE Council 118, the National ICE Council, which represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. 

About the separation 

According to The Washington Times‘ Stephen Dinan, the National ICE Council filed a complaint seeking financial independence from AFGE and the AFL-CIO with the Department of Labor in June. Dinan wrote, “The council says it cannot get adequate representation from the two organizations, which ‘foster hate and prejudice’ against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and have backed political candidates who call for defunding ICE[.] … The council accuses the two labor groups of holding ICE employees captive. It says the parent unions, wanting to garner ‘partisan political favor’ from the administration, refuse to let the employees manage their own affairs but won’t advocate for them.”

According to Dinan, “The complaint ask[ed] the Labor Department, which oversees labor relations, to impose a full financial audit of the two parent unions, to grant financial independence to the council, and to ensure ‘protections’ from retaliation by the AFGE or AFL-CIO.” 

National ICE Council President Chris Crane said, “I am not aware of any other union that openly campaigns to have the jobs of its members eliminated. … When AFGE supports electing abolish-ICE politicians to positions of power and influence, that’s exactly what it’s doing.” 

On July 12, AFGE announced it had “begun the process to separate a unit of thousands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the parent union, AFGE, by filing paperwork with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) disclaiming interest in the unit. … Under the Federal Labor Relations Act, unions can volunteer to give up a unit of workers they previously represented by filing a disclaimer of interest in the bargaining unit. The disclaimer is subject to a routine investigation and approval by the FLRA.” 

According to the FLRA’s Representation Case Handling Manual, “Any labor organization holding exclusive recognition for a unit of employees may disclaim any representational interest in those employees at any time.” 

AFGE National President Everett Kelley stated, “It is clear that the AFGE Council 118 remains steadfast in their desire to no longer be a part of AFGE or the broader labor movement. … As a result, we have made the difficult decision to disclaim interest in this unit. While we had hoped to avoid this outcome, today’s action begins the process of granting Council 118’s request.”

According to Government Executive’s Erich Wagner, “An AFGE official [said] staff on the national level [had] engaged in ‘multiple discussions’ with the ICE council … to convince them to remain part of the union but were unsuccessful.”

What happens next

According to Wagner, “Once the process is complete, the ICE council would not automatically become independent. Instead, the bargaining unit itself is disbanded, and all collective bargaining agreements between AFGE Council 118 and the agency are voided. … [E]mployees at the agency would have to conduct an entirely new organization drive, whether it be independently or in coordination with another federal employee union. Following a new bargaining unit designation and election overseen by the FLRA, the newly reconstituted union would then have to undergo the lengthy process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with ICE management from scratch.”

The National ICE Council says it represents “approximately 7,600 Officers, Agents and employees who work for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement throughout the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan.”

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 148 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

No public-sector union bills saw activity this week.


Thank you for reading! Let us know what you think! Reply to this email with any feedback or recommendations.



Seven candidates running in Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District

Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Walter Blackman and Eli Crane lead in endorsements and funding.

Blackman, who was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, said he was the only candidate in the primary with the “values, experience, and commitment to public service necessary to take back [the Republican] majority[.]” Blackman said in Congress he would “continue [his] fight for border security, election integrity and against the culture war.” Blackman served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as a tank commander and sexual assault prevention specialist. After retiring from the Army, he founded a consulting firm. The Arizona Police Association, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R), Majority Whip Leo Biasiucci (R), and Speaker Pro-Tempore Travis Grantham (R) endorsed Blackman.

Crane, a Navy veteran and small business owner, said he was “an America First candidate who is pro-life, pro-second amendment, and has the courage to take a stand against cancel culture and the radical left.” Crane said, “I’m running for Congress because America is in trouble. The week after 9/11, I volunteered for the SEAL Teams. I’m ready to head back into the fight.” The National Border Patrol Council, Green Beret PAC, Arizona Sens. Wendy Rogers (R) and Sonny Borrelli (R), and Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R) endorsed Crane.

Also running in the primary are Mark DeLuzio, Steven Krystofiak, John W. Moore, Ron Watkins, and Andy Yates.

According to data from Daily Kos, after redistricting, 64% of the new 2nd District’s population came from the old 1st District, represented by Tom O’Halleran (D), and 36% came from the old 4th District, represented by Paul Gosar (R). O’Halleran, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 2nd District, was first elected in 2016. In 2020, he was re-elected by a margin of three percentage points. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D), who was elected to represent the old 2nd District in 2018, did not file to run for re-election.

Major independent observers rate the general election as Likely Republican or Lean Republican.



Union Station: California’s Workers Tax Fairness Credit would be the first tax credit for union dues in the U.S.

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California’s Workers Tax Fairness Credit would be the first tax credit for union dues in the U.S.

A California bill related to the state’s 2022-2023 budget includes a proposed tax credit for union dues. Once implemented, the tax credit would be the first of its kind in the U.S. Union dues are currently tax-deductible in California and some other states. (A tax deduction lowers a person’s taxable income before calculating taxes, while a tax credit reduces the amount of tax a person is responsible for paying.)  

About the tax credit

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed SB 154, the Budget Act of 2022, on June 27. On June 30, Newsom signed SB 189, one of several bills “providing for appropriations related to” the budget act. SB 189 says, “Contingent upon future legislation, including future budget appropriations, and subject to a determination in the spring of 2024 that General Fund money over the multiyear forecasts is available to support ongoing augmentations and actions, the following actions will be prioritized: (1) Implement a tax credit under the Personal Income Tax Law to offset a portion of costs associated with union membership.” 

The Assembly Budget Committee’s floor report from June 29 says, “[The budget develops] the Workers Tax Fairness Credit to turn union dues from being tax deduction [sic] into a tax credit. … The credit will be established in statute in a trailer bill later in the session but the credit will not be in effect until activated through future budget action.” A floor report from June 13 said that the credit would be capped at 33% of dues paid. 

The enacted budget summary says, “Given the uncertain future, the Budget includes the enactment of a limited number of ongoing proposals, subject to a determination in the spring of 2024 that the General Fund can support these policies over the multi-year forecast.”

Background on the budget

The Los Angeles Times’ Taryn Luna wrote, “The California Legislature on [June 13] sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a preliminary state budget plan totaling more than $300 billion[.] … While negotiations between the governor and Democratic legislative leaders continue[d], the spending plan approved by the state Senate and Assembly [was] sufficient to meet a constitutional deadline of June 15 for lawmakers to avoid forfeiture of their paychecks.” 

Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D), and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) reached an agreement on the budget framework on June 26. 

Perspectives

Support

Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center fellow Kim Rueben said, “In general the move from a deduction to a credit will generally make the tax policy more progressive as the value of the tax expenditure will no longer be dependent on the tax rate faced. … In a state like California this in general will be especially true given the progressive nature of its state income tax and who owes income tax. This is especially the case in making it a refundable credit and not requiring the tax-payer to itemize. So the change would make the benefit available to a broader set of Californians and more equitable across different union workers within the state.”

United Domestic Workers of America executive director Doug Moore said, “Tax deductions have generally favored higher income professionals like doctors and lawyers, whose association fees are recognized as a cost of doing business and therefore easily written-off on their taxes. It unfairly privileges high earners over working-class Californians. … UDW fought for the Workers Tax Fairness Credit to level the playing field, because union members deserve these benefits, too.” 

Opposition 

The Los Angeles Daily News editorial board wrote, “A provision slipped into the state budget would force taxpayers to subsidize union dues, handing California’s politically powerful unions an unprecedented handout to shore up their finances. … If taxpayers are covering one-third of union members’ dues, unions can raise their dues at least that much before members feel the effect. This is especially helpful to public employee unions, which have found it more challenging to raise dues ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision in 2018 allowed members to quit paying dues altogether. … California’s taxpayer subsidy of up to one-third of union dues, therefore, could help unions in other states fund their organizing efforts. That might be an appropriate goal for union federations, but it is not an appropriate use of California taxpayer dollars.” 

Patrick Gleason, vice president of state affairs at Americans for Tax Reform, said, “The first half of 2022 was a mixed bag for California taxpayers who don’t want the state to inflict more costs upon households and the economy. … Many Californians, however, are unlikely to appreciate the fact that Governor Newsom and state legislators created a new tax credit that is unavailable to 84% of Golden State workers. For all the talk about equity & equality coming from the state’s most powerful politicians, California’s new budget takes the state tax code’s already unequal treatment of workers and worsens it.” 

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 148 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB189: This appropriations bill includes an ongoing proposal for the creation of a tax credit for union dues.
    • Assembly Budget Committee introduced.
    • Read second time, amended, and sent back to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee on June 26. Committee recommends “do pass” on June 27. Read second time on June 28, ordered to third reading.
  • California AB1577: This bill would allow state legislative employees to organize and bargain collectively. 
    • Bipartisan sponsorship. 
    • Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held June 28. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Appropriations Committee June 29. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for Aug. 1. 
  • California AB1714: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for Aug. 1. 
  • California AB2556: This bill would change the time frame for a local public agency employer to implement a final offer after a factfinders’ recommendation has been submitted in the case of a dispute between the employer and employee organization.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee hearing June 29. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • California SB189: This appropriations bill includes an ongoing proposal for the creation of a tax credit for union dues.
    • Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee introduced. 
    • Assembly passed and Senate concurred June 29. Governor approved June 30.   
  • California SB931: This bill would allow a union to bring a claim before the Public Employment Relations Board against a public employer allegedly in violation of California Government Code Section 3550 and sets civil penalties for violations. Section 3550 prohibits public employers from discouraging union membership.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for Aug. 3. 
  • California SB1313: This bill would prohibit Los Angeles County from discriminating against union members by limiting employee health benefits. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for Aug. 3. 
  • California SB1406: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing June 28. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Assembly Appropriations Committee with recommendation to place on the consent calendar. Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for Aug. 3.
  • Michigan SB1093: This bill would remove a current prohibition on public employers using school resources to assist a union in collecting dues. It would also remove a requirement for unions to have an independent examiner verify the union’s calculation of expenditures related to collective bargaining and for those calculations to be made public.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Education And Career Readiness Committee June 23. 

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Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon withdraws from Arizona governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon withdrew from the Republican primary for governor of Arizona on June 28, 2022, saying that “primary voters deserve more than having their votes split.” Salmon endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson the following day.

Club for Growth and FreedomWorks had endorsed Salmon, along with U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs (R- Ariz.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Salmon’s withdrawal came after the deadline for his name to be removed from the ballot.

In addition to Taylor Robson, Kari Lake, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen are on the ballot for the August 2 primary. Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited.

Lake and Taylor Robson lead in endorsements, polls, and funding.

Lake, who formerly worked as a news anchor for Fox 10 News in Phoenix, Arizona, said she is “running … on a platform of common sense conservatism dedicated to individual liberties, low taxes, limited regulation, and protecting Arizona’s great Western heritage.” Lake said, ” The ongoing border crisis is nothing less than a national security and humanitarian disaster. … I will not wait for Washington’s approval or rely on the empty promises of far-away politicians to do what’s best for Arizonans.” She said, “After I take my hand off the Bible, we are going to issue a declaration of invasion. We are going to finish President Trump’s wall, and we are going to send our armed National Guard to the border and stop people from coming across.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Lake, along with U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.

Taylor Robson, a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents and founder of a land-use strategy firm, said, “We need a leader with a record of accomplishment, not a career talker with the teleprompter.” She said, “I built my own businesses. I do more than talk for a living.” Taylor Robson said that border security would be her first priority and that she would “surge National Guard troops to the border, equip the Border Strike Force with the latest technology, and finish the wall.” She also said, “I am uniquely qualified to lead this state into the future and to secure and protect Arizona’s water. My experience includes decades managing land, water and other natural resource issues, as well as working with government at all levels.”

Former Arizona Govs. Jan Brewer (R) and John Fife Symington III (R) endorsed Taylor Robson, as did former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R), and Americans For Prosperity.

With regard to the 2020 presidential election, Lake said that President Joe Biden (D) “lost the election and he shouldn’t be in the White House.” In a campaign ad, Lake said, “If you’re watching this ad right now, it means you’re in the middle of watching a fake news program. You know how to know it’s fake? Because they won’t even cover the biggest story out there, the rigged election of 2020.” In an interview with Fox News, Lake said, “… [W]e had a fraudulent election, a corrupt election, and we have an illegitimate president sitting in the White House.”

Taylor Robson said, “Joe Biden may be the president, but the election wasn’t fair. States across the country changed their voting rules in the weeks and months before the election; the mainstream media generally refused to cover stories harmful to Joe Biden; and Big Tech actively suppressed conservative voices. No wonder a sizable percentage of Arizona Republicans still feel the way they do about 2020.” She said, “I am focused on 2022 because the left is 10 steps ahead of us. … I will do everything I can to ensure Arizona is in Republican hands for the 2024 election when we can take back the White House.”

Patrick Finerd, Carlos Roldan, and Alex Schatz are running as write-ins in the primary.

Major independent observers rate the general election as a toss-up. Ducey was first elected in 2014 and won re-election in 2018 by a margin of 14 percentage points. Repulicans have held trifecta control of Arizona state government since 2009.



Rep. Mary Miller defeats Rep. Rodney Davis in IL-15

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller defeated Rep. Rodney Davis in the Republican primary for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. With 91% of precincts reporting, Miller had received 57.2% of the vote to Davis’ 42.8%.

This race was one of six U.S. House incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting.

The Herald & Review‘s Brenden Moore wrote that the race was “among the most contentious incumbent-versus-incumbent primaries in the country” and said the candidates “traded barbs over who [was] the true conservative candidate in the race.” As of election day, the primary had the second most satellite spending of all 2022 U.S. House races.

Miller said she was the “only Republican member of Congress from Illinois who’s fighting every aspect of the Biden agenda and putting America first,” saying on her campaign website that she had opposed “the disgraceful January 6th ‘witch hunt’ Commission, President Biden’s ‘red-flag’ gun confiscation measures, COVID vaccine mandates and databases, and taxpayer-funded chemical abortion.” She criticized Davis for a bill he cosponsored in 2019 that would have provided grants for states to enact extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws. Miller said, “I am the only candidate with an A rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America because I support our Second Amendment! Everyone is tired of Red Flag Rodney Davis, who stabbed conservatives in the back by supporting federal gun confiscation.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller in January 2022. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Club for Growth, the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the House Freedom Fund also endorsed Miller.

Davis said, “I stick with my core values and principles. I have always been pro-life and will continue to stick by those values and principles. I’ve always stood up for the Second Amendment. I will continue to do that. But what separates me from my opponent is I have a record of actually governing. When people put Republicans in charge, at any level of government, they actually expect them to do the job.” Davis criticized Miller for voting against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “All Mary Miller has to show for her time in Congress is quoting Hitler and voting with Democrats like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and the far left squad to defund our military and block a pay raise for our troops. That’s shameful. It’s clear that Mary Miller is all talk, no action.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge endorsed Davis, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.).

Davis has represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013, and Miller has represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. According to data from Daily Kos, 28% of the new 15th District’s population came from the old 13th District (represented by Davis), and 31% came from the old 15th District (represented by Miller). Illinois lost one congressional district following the 2020 census.

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid or safe Republican.



Union Station: Public-sector labor policy litigation four years post-Janus

Note: The next edition of Union Station will be on July 8. In the meantime, have a happy Fourth of July!

Public-sector labor policy litigation four years post-Janus

June 27 marks the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision. The court held that public-sector unions may not require non-member employees to pay agency fees covering the costs of non-political union activities, overturning precedent established in 1977.

Since late 2019, Ballotpedia has tracked close to 200 federal lawsuits related to public-sector labor policy. Today, we’ll take a look at the state of public-sector labor policy litigation four years after Janus, as well as highlight some recent cases we’ve been watching. 

Overview

Most of the lawsuits we’ve tracked since Janus have asked one or more of the following questions: 

  • Whether public-sector unions can be held liable for refunding agency fees paid before Janus
  • Whether public-sector unions may continue to collect union dues from an employee who leaves the union if there is a pre-existing agreement that membership or dues authorization may only be revoked during a certain window; 
  • Whether exclusive bargaining representation laws violate non-union members’ First Amendment rights; 
  • Whether mandatory bar association dues should be reconsidered in light of Janus.

We’re also tracking lawsuits in which public-sector unions challenge state or federal laws and policies. 

The map below shows the cases we’re tracking by the U.S. district court in which they originated. The three districts with the highest number of cases are the Middle District of Pennsylvania (18 cases), the Central District of California (17 cases), and the District of Oregon (13 cases).

Here’s the breakdown by circuit:

And by case status (pending cases are divided by court level, and cases that have been dismissed, settled, or otherwise resolved are counted together):   

Finally, this chart shows the cases we’ve tracked since 2019 by the year the case was originally filed:

Case highlights: Lawsuits filed by workers

Here’s a look at three recent worker-filed lawsuits we’ve been watching:

  • Adams v. Teamsters Local Union 429 (21-1372)
    • Four Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, public employees sued Teamsters Local 429, the county, the state attorney general, and the state labor board in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Feb. 27, 2019. The workers sought a refund of union dues collected before and after Janus, challenged the constitutionality of the state’s exclusive representation law, and the constitutionality of limiting union resignation to a 15-day window. 
    • On March 31, 2020, Judge Sylvia Rambo dismissed the case.
    • On Jan. 20, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling. 
    • The plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court on April 20, 2022. 
    • The Supreme Court requested a response from the defendants by Aug. 24, 2022 
  • Hoekman v. Education Minnesota (21-01366):
    • On June 18, 2018, two public school teachers filed a class-action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota challenging the constitutionality of agency fees before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus. In an amended complaint filed in October 2018, the plaintiffs sought a refund of fees the union had collected and challenged the union’s limiting resignation to a seven-day window. 
    • On Feb. 12, 2021, Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in favor of the defendants. 
    • The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Feb. 16, 2021. Oral argument was held on Feb. 16, 2022.
  • O’Callaghan v. Napolitano (19-56271):
    • Two University of California employees filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on March 27, 2019, challenging the constitutionality of limiting dues authorization revocation to a 15-day window and the constitutionality of exclusive representation.
    • Judge James Selna ruled in favor of the defendants on Sept. 30, 2019.
    • The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Nov. 1, 2019. A three-judge panel affirmed the district court’s decision on April 28, 2022. 
    • The court denied the plaintiffs’ petitions for a panel rehearing or rehearing en banc on June 6, 2022. 

Case highlights: Lawsuits filed by unions

We’ve also been tracking cases unions have filed challenging state or federal laws and policies. Here’s a quick look at three of those cases: 

  • AFSCME Council 4 v. Garland (3:21-cv-01524): 
    • Four unions representing workers in Connecticut filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on Nov. 15, 2021, asking the court to declare that a federal law prohibiting members of the armed forces from unionizing did not apply to members of the National Guard on state active duty.
    • U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice agreed with the unions about the law and the parties settled on May 17, 2022.
  • Anderson Federation of Teachers v. Rokita (1:21-cv-01767)
    • Three Indiana teachers unions filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on June 15, 2021, challenging the constitutionality of a state law requiring teachers to sign an annual authorization form for dues deductions.
    • Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker partially blocked the law from going into effect on June 30, 2021. 
    • Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a new bill amending the law in question on April 22, 2021. 
    • The teachers unions filed an amended complaint on June 15, 2022. 
  • Fraternal Order of Police v. D.C. (21-7059)
    • The D.C. Police Union filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Aug. 5, 2020, challenging a D.C. law blocking disciplinary procedures as a subject of collective bargaining.
    • Judge James Boasberg dismissed the case on Nov. 4, 2020.
    • The union appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on June 7, 2021. Oral argument was held on Feb. 2, 2022. 

To see the complete list of cases we’re tracking, click here

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 144 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB1577: This bill would allow state legislative employees to organize and bargain collectively.
    • Bipartisan sponsorship.
    • Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee hearing held June 22. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for June 28.
  • California AB1714: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held June 21. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Senate Appropriations Committee June 22 with recommendation to place on the consent calendar.
  • California AB2556: This bill would change the time frame for a local public agency employer to implement a final offer after a factfinders’ recommendation has been submitted in the case of a dispute between the employer and employee organization.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Read second time, amended, and sent back to Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee June 22. Hearing scheduled for June 29.
  • California SB931: This bill would allow a union to bring a claim before the Public Employment Relations Board against a public employer allegedly in violation of California Government Code Section 3550 and sets civil penalties for violations. Section 3550 prohibits public employers from discouraging union membership. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Public Employment And Retirement Committee hearing held June 22. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Assembly Appropriations Committee June 22.
  • California SB1313: This bill would prohibit Los Angeles County from discriminating against union members by limiting employee health benefits.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Public Employment And Retirement Committee hearing held June 22. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Assembly Appropriations Committee June 22.
  • California SB1406: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Public Employment And Retirement Committee hearing held June 22. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Assembly Judiciary Committee June 22 with recommendation to place on the consent calendar.

Thank you for reading! Let us know what you think! Reply to this email with any feedback or recommendations.



Union Station: Ninth Circuit panel says California can deduct union dues from state Medicaid payments to home care providers

On June 8, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed two district court decisions dismissing challenges to California’s deduction of union dues from Medicaid payments to home care providers. The panel issued a single opinion after consolidating the two appeals. 

About the cases

U.S. Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen summarized the two cases as follows: 

“Appellants provide services through California’s [In-Home Support Services] program. They all became members of the public-sector union with exclusive bargaining rights in their counties … When they signed up, appellants authorized the State Controller to deduct union dues from their paychecks. That authorization included an agreement that they could only revoke their consent during brief annual windows.

“Appellants resigned from their unions outside the annual revocation windows. But they wanted their dues deductions to stop immediately. When the dues deductions continued, they brought these two putative class actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against their former unions and State Controller Betty Yee.

“Appellants alleged that the continuing dues deductions violated their rights under the First Amendment and the Medicaid Act’s anti-reassignment provision.”

Attorneys from the Freedom Foundation and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation represented the plaintiffs in both cases. 

About the ruling

The three-judge panel—Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Paez, Nguyen, and Chief U.S. District Judge for the District of Minnesota John Tunheim—affirmed the dismissals of the cases on June 8. Nguyen wrote in the court’s opinion:

“For a federal statute to confer a right, ‘Congress must have intended that the provision in question benefit the plaintiff.’… Here, the text and legislative history of the anti-reassignment provision make clear that Congress was focused on preventing fraud and abuse in state Medicaid programs rather than on serving the needs of Medicaid providers. Because Congress did not intend to benefit Medicaid providers, we hold that the anti-reassignment provision does not confer a right that they can enforce under § 1983. … 

“Both district courts dismissed these cases for the same reasons. As to the First Amendment claim, the district courts concluded that the unions were not state actors and that appellants’ consent to pay union dues precluded any First Amendment liability. This court subsequently decided Belgau v. Inslee, which rejected a virtually identical First Amendment claim on the same rationale. … Appellants now concede that Belgau forecloses their First Amendment claim. As to the Medicaid Act claim, both district courts held that the anti-reassignment provision does not confer a right on providers that is enforceable under § 1983. … 

“Appellants also point out that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted their broad interpretation of the anti-reassignment provision in a 2019 regulation. … More recently, however, CMS issued a rule clarifying that employment-type payroll deductions do not violate the anti-reassignment provision. …

“We therefore hold that the Medicaid Act’s antireassignment provision, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(32), does not confer a right on Medicaid providers enforceable under § 1983. We affirm the district courts’ dismissals of these cases.”

In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule “explicitly [authorizing] States to make payments to third parties on behalf of individual practitioners, for individual practitioners’ health insurance and welfare benefits, skills training, and other benefits customary for employees, if the individual practitioner consents to such payments on their behalf.” To read more of the backstory to this ruling, click here

President Bill Clinton (D) nominated Paez to the Ninth Circuit, and President Barack Obama (D) nominated Nguyen. Clinton nominated Tunheim to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

About the Ninth Circuit 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears appeals from the district courts within its jurisdiction, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The chief judge of the court is Mary Murguia, an Obama appointee. Of the court’s 29 active judges, Clinton nominated five, George W. Bush (R) nominated three, Obama nominated seven, Donald Trump (R) nominated 10, and Joe Biden (D) nominated four.

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 144 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB1577: This bill would allow state legislative employees to organize and bargain collectively.
    • Bipartisan sponsorship. 
    • Read second time, amended, and sent back to Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee June 15. Committee hearing scheduled for June 22. 
  • California AB1714: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee hearing held June 13. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Senate Judiciary Committee with recommendation to place on the consent calendar. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for June 21.
  • California SB931: This bill would allow a union to bring a claim before the Public Employment Relations Board against a public employer allegedly in violation of California Government Code Section 3550 and sets civil penalties for violations. Section 3550 prohibits public employers from discouraging union membership. 
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing held June 14. Committee recommends “do pass.” Sent back to Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

Thank you for reading! Let us know what you think! Reply to this email with any feedback or recommendations.



U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller compete for re-election in Illinois’ 15th Congressional District

U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller are running in the Republican primary for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. This race is one of six incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting after the 2020 census.

Davis has represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013. Miller has represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. According to data from Daily Kos, 28% of the new 15th District’s population came from the old 13th District (represented by Davis), and 31% came from the old 15th District (represented by Miller). Illinois lost one congressional district following the 2020 census.

The Herald & Review‘s Brenden Moore wrote, “The race has been among the most contentious incumbent-versus-incumbent primaries in the country. … Davis and Miller have traded barbs over who is the true conservative candidate in the race.” According to OpenSecrets, the primary currently comes in second in total satellite spending out of all 2022 U.S. House races, with over $7.5 million spent as of June 15.

Davis said, “I stick with my core values and principles. I have always been pro-life and will continue to stick by those values and principles. I’ve always stood up for the Second Amendment. I will continue to do that. But what separates me from my opponent is I have a record of actually governing. When people put Republicans in charge, at any level of government, they actually expect them to do the job.” Davis criticized Miller for voting against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “All Mary Miller has to show for her time in Congress is quoting Hitler and voting with Democrats like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and the far left squad to defund our military and block a pay raise for our troops. That’s shameful. It’s clear that Mary Miller is all talk, no action.”

The Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge, and Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed Davis, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.).

Miller said, “I’m the only Republican member of Congress from Illinois who’s fighting every aspect of the Biden agenda and putting America first. I’m fighting for real election security so that voters decide elections, not the ballot counters. And I’m proud to be the only Republican from Illinois to vote against the Biden-Pelosi gun confiscation bill which would have allowed firearms to be seized by the federal government.” Miller criticized Davis for a bill he cosponsored in 2019 that would have provided grants for states to enact extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws. Miller said, “I am the only candidate with an A rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America because I support our Second Amendment! Everyone is tired of Red Flag Rodney Davis, who stabbed conservatives in the back by supporting federal gun confiscation.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller on January 1, 2022. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Club for Growth, the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the House Freedom Fund also endorsed Miller.

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid or safe Republican.