Author

Janie Valentine

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

Lake, Republican nominee for governor of Arizona, completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Kari Lake, who won the Republican primary for governor of Arizona on Aug. 2, completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey in May 2022. The Candidate Connection survey is an opportunity for voters to learn more about candidates through a variety of personal and political questions. 

A selection of Lake’s survey responses are excerpted below. To read Lake’s full survey responses, click here.

Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?

  • “Securing our Border is essential for the safety and security of Arizona’s future. I will finish Trump’s Wall & stop Biden’s cartel-controlled flood at our borders”
  • “Secure elections are essential to preserve our Republic, and our state”
  • “Arizona faces enormous challenges, we need a visionary leader to take them head-on”

What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

“Securing our border & our elections while locating and developing a new source of fresh water, reducing inflation and out-of-control housing costs, quality education with a renewed focus on technical education, creating smart economic growth, addressing our homelessness crisis, ensuring our businesses, churches and gyms are never closed again, and putting a stop to spiraling crime rates that are making our cities and towns less safe.” 

What qualities do you possess that you believe would make you a successful officeholder?

“I am convicted, not held back by political convention. Politics has become the art of saying everything, and accomplishing nothing. I do not accept that outcome. We need a governor with the courage to take on big challenges.”

What legacy would you like to leave?

“A better state than the one we’ve had. But, more specifically, the next governor of Arizona must address our looming water crisis in a sustainable, permanent manner, while also working to fix Arizona’s housing shortage and ensuring our next phase of growth doesn’t make our state and our biggest cities unlivable the way it has on our coasts.”



Kari Lake wins Republican primary for governor of Arizona

Kari Lake defeated Karrin Taylor Robson, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen in the Republican primary for governor of Arizona on Aug. 2, 2022. With 90% of the expected vote counted, Lake had received 47% of the vote, followed by Taylor Robson with 44%. 

Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited. 

Heading into the primary, Lake and Taylor Robson led in endorsements, polls, and funding.

Lake, a former news anchor for Fox 10 News in Phoenix, said she was “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.” 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, as did U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), 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.” 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 Vice President Mike Pence (R), Ducey, and former Arizona Govs. Jan Brewer (R) and John Fife Symington III (R) endorsed Taylor Robson, as did Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R), Americans for Prosperity, and the National Border Patrol Council. Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R) withdrew from the primary and endorsed Taylor Robson at the end of June.

Lake said she would not have certified the results of the 2020 presidential election. She said that President Joe Biden (D) “lost the election and he shouldn’t be in the White House.” Taylor Robson said, “Joe Biden may be the president, but the election wasn’t fair.”

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

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs won the Democratic nomination on Aug. 2. Major independent observers rate the general election as a toss-up. Republicans have had trifecta control of Arizona state government since 2009.



Final incumbent vs. incumbent primary upcoming in NY-12

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, Suraj Patel, and Ashmi Sheth are running in the Democratic primary for New York’s 12th Congressional District on Aug. 23. Maloney, Nadler, and Patel lead in endorsements, funding, and media attention.

This race is the last of six primaries featuring two U.S. House incumbents in 2022.

Maloney currently represents the 12th District as it was drawn before redistricting, and Nadler represents the old 10th District. Heading into the election, Maloney represents 61% of the redrawn 12th District’s population, and Nadler represents 39%, according to Daily Kos data.

Both representatives were first elected in 1992. Maloney chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Nadler chairs the Judiciary Committee. Maloney and Nadler are both members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and are campaigning as progressives.

Maloney’s campaign website says she has fostered “lasting bipartisan agreement in an increasingly polarized government, without giving up the ideals and causes she’s fought for throughout her career: promoting equality, protecting consumers, building infrastructure that serves New Yorkers and the region, extending and protecting healthcare coverage for all, protecting the environment, and working to understand and find solutions for everyday issues like affordable housing and small business support.”

Nadler’s campaign website says his record includes “standing up to Republican attempts at voter suppression, providing justice to survivors of sexual assault and harassment, [and] leading the impeachment of President Trump as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.” The website calls Nadler “a relentless defender of our country’s democracy and a fierce fighter for civil rights, racial justice, and a safer, more equal America.”

Patel, an attorney, was a campaign staffer for Barack Obama’s (D) presidential campaigns. Patel challenged Maloney in 2018 and 2020, receiving 40% of the vote to Maloney’s 60% in 2018 and 39% to Maloney’s 43% in 2020.

Patel calls himself “an Obama Democrat” and said, “Democrats need a new generation of leaders – practical and progressive leaders who can deliver new energy and fresh ideas on how to get things done.” Patel said, “New Yorkers are hungry for change. They want more affordable housing, better jobs, safer streets, modern infrastructure that actually gets built in their lifetimes, and representatives who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect and codify their human rights at the federal level.”

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



Eli Crane wins Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District

Eli Crane defeated six other candidates in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District on Aug. 2. With 72% of the expected vote counted, Crane had received 34% of the vote, Walter Blackman had received 24%, and Mark DeLuzio had received 18%.

Heading into the primary, Crane and Blackman led in endorsements and individual campaign contributions.

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.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Crane on July 22. The National Border Patrol Council, Green Beret PAC, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Arizona Sens. Wendy Rogers (R) and Sonny Borrelli (R) also endorsed Crane.

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 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.

Steven Krystofiak, John W. Moore, Andy Yates, and Ron Watkins also ran in the primary.

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). Thirty-six percent came from the old 4th District, represented by Paul Gosar (R). O’Halleran ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 2nd District.

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



Union Station: Legislation update: What’s happened with public-sector union bills so far this year?

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Legislation update: What’s happened with public-sector union bills so far this year?

This week, we’re looking back at legislative activity for the public-sector union bills we’ve tracked in the first seven months of 2022. We’ll also compare that activity to the same period in 2019, 2020, and 2021.   

Highlights & quick facts 

  • Ten bills related to public-sector unions have been enacted so far this year. Democrats sponsored six, and Republicans sponsored three. The remaining bill was an appropriations bill introduced by committee.
  • We’ve tracked more bills related to public-sector union policy this year than any of the last three years. 
  • Legislators in Maryland have considered 13 public-sector union bills so far this year, followed by California and Minnesota tied with 12. Maryland legislators considered the most public-sector union bills in the first half of the year in 2020, 2021, and 2022. In 2019, it was Oregon. 
  • Washington is the only state that has passed a public-sector union bill by July of each year from 2019 to 2022. 
  • The Maryland General Assembly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) vetoes of two public-sector union bills this year. 

Enacted legislation

The following 10 bills have been signed into law so far this year: 

  • Arizona SB1166: Prohibits public employers from spending public money on a union’s political or lobbying activities. Prohibits public employers from contracting with a public employee to perform a union’s political or lobbying activities, and prohibits public employers from providing paid leave or other compensation to employees performing a union’s political or lobbying activities. There is an exception for law enforcement and firefighters. Republican sponsorship
  • California SB189: This appropriations bill includes an ongoing proposal for the creation of a tax credit for union dues. Introduced by Democratic-led committee
  • Colorado SB230: Gives certain county employees the right to organize and bargain collectively beginning in 2023. Democratic sponsorship.
  • Indiana SB0297: Amends the language of the authorization form school employees must sign before union dues may be deducted from their pay. Republican sponsorship.
  • Maine LD449: Existing law required public employers and collective bargaining agents to meet within 10 days of receiving written notice of a request for a bargaining meeting. This only applied if the parties had not otherwise agreed in an earlier contract. This bill eliminates that exception. Democratic sponsorship.
  • Maryland HB90: Extends collective bargaining rights to the deputy public defender, district public defenders, and assistant public defenders. Democratic sponsorship.
  • Maryland HB580: Extends collective bargaining rights to Maryland Transit Administration Police sergeants and supervisors. Democratic sponsorship.
  • New Jersey S3810: Expands the terms and conditions negotiable between government employers and public-sector unions to those that “intimately and directly affect employee work and welfare,” with certain exceptions. It also allows a public-sector union to charge a non-dues-paying employee for the cost of representation in arbitration proceedings, and to decline to represent those who do not agree to pay. Democratic sponsorship.
  • Oklahoma SB1579: Allows school boards to grant unpaid leaves of absence for employees to hold office in an employee association if certain criteria are met. An employee organization would be required to comply with this law in order to be recognized as the representative of a bargaining unit. Republican sponsorship.    
  • Washington HB2124: Gives state legislative branch employees the right to bargain collectively, creates an office of state legislative labor relations to “[e]xamine issues related to collective bargaining for employees of the house of representatives, the senate, and legislative agencies” and to “develop best practices and options for the legislature to consider in implementing and administering collective bargaining.” A final report is due to the legislature by Oct. 1, 2023. No collective bargaining agreement may take effect until July 1, 2025. Employees are not allowed to strike. Democratic sponsorship.

Comparison to recent years

2022 legislative activity, January through July

In the first seven months of 2022, state legislatures took up 149 public-sector union bills, 10 of which were enacted during that time.

  • Bills introduced or carried over from earlier sessions: 149
    • Democratic sponsored bills: 91
    • Republican sponsored bills: 46
    • Bipartisan or committee bills: 12
  • Bills enacted: 10

2021 legislative activity, January through July

In the first seven months of 2021, state legislatures took up 98 public-sector union bills, 10 of which were enacted during that time.

  • Bills introduced or carried over from earlier sessions: 98
    • Democratic sponsored bills: 44
    • Republican sponsored bills: 44
    • Bipartisan or committee bills: 10
  • Bills enacted: 12

2020 legislative activity, January through July

In the first seven months of 2020, state legislatures took up 99 public-sector union bills, three of which were enacted during that time. 

  • Bills introduced or carried over from earlier sessions: 99
    • Democratic sponsored bills: 52
    • Republican sponsored bills: 34
    • Bipartisan or committee bills: 13
  • Bills enacted: 3

2019 legislative activity, January through July

In the first seven months of 2019, state legislatures took up 101 public-sector union bills, seven of which were enacted during that time.

  • Bills introduced or carried over from earlier sessions: 101
    • Democratic sponsored bills: 51
    • Republican sponsored bills: 38
    • Bipartisan or committee bills: 12
  • Bills enacted: 7 

To view spreadsheets with information about all of the public-sector union bills we’ve tracked since 2018, click here

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 149 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 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.


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



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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