House Democrats refuse to record position on a measure sponsored by one of their own -- from Delegate Chris Saxman
Richmond, VA -- House Republicans today defeated House Bill 852, an effort to wholly repeal the prohibition on collective bargaining by government employees. House Bill 852 – sponsored by Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-Arlington), former Virginia Department of Commerce and Labor Chief Deputy Commissioner under Governor Mark Warner – would have allowed state and local government employees to collectively bargain with a union. If approved, the bill would have marked a reversal of Virginia’s long-standing status as a Right to Work state.
All House Republicans voted against this anti-business measure, citing it as detrimental to Virginia’s economy and likely to endanger the Commonwealth’s status as America’s best state for business.
In contrast, House Democrats – at the insistence of House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-Henry) – remained in their seats refusing to cast a vote on this critical piece of legislation, even though sponsored by a delegate in their ranks. [emphasis added]
“What we learned today is that Virginia is just five votes away from abandoning its status as a Right to Work state,” declared House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem). “The Democrats expressed an unwillingness to have their votes recorded because they don’t want the public to know the extent of their fealty to organized labor. The Democrat leadership’s refusal to allow their members to vote violated a basic responsibility of elected public service, and did so to allow them to continue their practice of saying one thing to business and another to labor.”
“HB 852 pointed a dagger at one of the fundamental tenets that has enabled Virginia to become the best place in America for business to do business,” remarked House Majority Whip M. Kirkland “Kirk” Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “There was a clear choice. A vote ‘for’ this bill was a vote for giving Virginia’s pubic employees over to union boss control and a vote ‘against’ was a vote to protect and preserve an essential component to Virginia’s business-friendly environment. I am pleased that all House Republicans voted against this assault on public employees and the taxpayers of Virginia and am puzzled why Democrat members chose once again to turn away from tough decisions.”
“Today’s vote was another disturbing trend from Virginia Democrats’ efforts to erode the positive business climate that Republicans have fought hard to create and continue,” noted Delegate Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott), Chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee. “House Republicans believe Virginia’s status as a Right to Work state is crucial to retaining the vitality of our Commonwealth’s economy. Failure to actively vote against this dangerous bill demonstrates that House Democrats do not support this pro-business legislation.”
Cross-posted at SixtyFour81.com