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President Trump's Appointment Confirmations Tracker

 

 

Check out these presidential appointment considered by Congress, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

U.S. Senate Motion 89, Approve Dan Coats as Trump’s Intelligence Director: Passed 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 15, 2017

 

To confirm Dan Coats as the Director of National Intelligence.

 

U.S. Senate Legislative Document 86, Approve Seema Verma as Trump’s Medicare administrator: Passed 55 to 43 in the U.S. Senate on March 13, 2017

 

To confirm Seema Verma as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 79, Approve Rick Perry as Trump’s Energy Secretary: Passed 62 to 37 in the U.S. Senate on March 2, 2107

 

To confirm Rick Perry as the Secretary of Energy.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 77, Approve Ben Carson as Trump’s HUD Secretary: Passed 58 to 41 in the U.S. Senate on March 2, 2017

 

To confirm Ben Carson as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 75, Approve Ryan Zinke as Trump’s Interior Secretary: Passed 68 to 31 in the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2017

 

To confirm Rep. Ryan Zinke as the Secretary of Interior.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 73, Approve Wilbur Ross as Trump’s Commerce Secretary: Passed 72 to 27 in the U.S. Senate on February 27, 2017

 

To confirm Wilbur Ross, Jr., as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 71, Approve Scott Pruitt as Trump's EPA Administrator: Passed 52 to 46 in the U.S. Senate on February 17, 2017

 

To confirm Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 68, Approve Mick Mulvaney as Trump's budget director: Passed 51 to 49 in the U.S. Senate on February 16, 2017

 

To confirm Mick Mulvaney as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 65, Approve Linda McMahon as Small Business Administrator: Passed 81 to 19 in the U.S. Senate on February 14, 2017

 

To confirm Linda McMahon as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 63, Approve Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary: Passed 53 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on February 13, 2017

 

To confirm Steven Mnuchin as the Secretary of the Treasury.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 61, Approve Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary: Passed 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on February 10, 2017

To confirm Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 59, Approve Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: Passed 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on February 8, 2017

 

To confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 54, Approve Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary: Passed 50 to 50 in the U.S. Senate on February 7, 2017

 

To confirm the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 36, Approve Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State: Passed 56 to 43 in the U.S. Senate on February 1, 2017

 

To confirm the nomination of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 35, Approve Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary: Passed the U.S. Senate 93 to 6 on January 31, 2017

 

To confirm the nomination of Elaine Chao to be Secretary of Transportation.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 33, Confirm Nikki Haley as UN ambassador: Passed 96 to 4 in the U.S. Senate on January 24, 2017

 

To confirm the nomination of Governor Nikki Haley as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

 

U.S. Senate Resolution 32, Confirm Rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA Director: Passed 66 to 32 in the U.S. House on January 23, 2017

 

To confirm the nomination of Rep. Mike Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 30, Approve John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary: Passed 88 to 11 in the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2017

 

To confirm John Kelly as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

 

U.S. Senate Motion 29, Approve Gen. Mattis as Defense Secretary: Passed 98 to 1 in the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2017

 

To confirm General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

 

U.S. Senate Bill 84, Allow Gen. Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense: Passed 81 to 17 in the U.S. Senate on January 12, 2017 and 268 to 151 in the U.S. House on January 13, 2017

 

To waive a provision in federal law that prohibits any military member from serving as Secretary of Defense within seven years of active duty. This bill would allow Gen. James Mattis, whom Donald Trump has selected to run the Defense Department, to serve as Secretary of Defense even though he has only been away from active duty for three years.

 

Comment below to share what you think of President Trump's appointments!

 

U.S. Regulatory Reform Tracker

 

Learn more about the Congressional Review Act, then check out these key regulatory reform bills considered by Congress, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

U.S. Joint Resolution 43, Overturn rule prohibiting states from defunding Planned Parenthood: Passed 230 to 188 in the U.S. House on February 16, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation that prohibits states from denying federal funding to family planning organizations for reasons unrelated to the quality of care they offer. This rule was aimed at stopping states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 69, Overturn Alaska wildlife control rule: Passed 225 to 193 in the U.S. House on February 16, 2017 and 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on March 21, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration rule that would restrict the practice of killing predators such as wolves and bears in national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

 

U.S. House Bill 1009, Reform the regulatory process: Passed 241 to 184 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2017

 

To place in statute a requirement that a bureau called the Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) must review proposed regulations that impose an annual cost on the economy of at least $100 million. Agencies must have considered alternatives, looked at costs, minimized the potential cost on society, and more. Agencies that have not done so must change their regulations to comply with OIRA's suggestions.The bill would expand OIRA's scope to independent agencies, such as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

 

U.S. House Join Resolution 83, Overturn workplace injury reporting rule: Passed 231 to 191 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2107 and 50 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 22, 2017

 

To overturn an Obama administration regulation that required businesses to record injuries and illnesses in the workplace and retain those records for five years.

 

U.S. House Bill 998, Create regulatory review commission: Passed 240 to 185 in the U.S. House on March 1, 2017

 

To establish a commission that would review federal rules that should be repealed to lower the cost of regulation. The commission will prioritize examining rules that are older than 15 years and that impose a high cost or paperwork burden. Congress could repeal a rule recommended by the commission with a joint resolution. Agencies issuing new rules would be mandated to offset that new rule by eliminating a rule recommended by the commission.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 42, Overturn rule restricting unemployment drug testing: Passed 236 to 189 in the U.S. House on February 15, 2017 and 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 14, 2017

 

To overturn a Department of Labor regulation that allowed states to drug test applicants for unemployment benefits only if the applicants were suited for jobs that required drug testing. In effect, the rule being overturned would not allow states to use widespread drug testing for unemployment benefits.

 

U.S. Joint Resolution 40, Overturn ban gun possession for some Social Security recipients: Passed 235 to 180 in the U.S. House on February 2, 2017 and 57 to 40 in the U.S. Senate on February 15, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration rule that would prohibit Social Security Income and Disability recipients who are determined to have certain mental disorders from possessing a firearm. Under this rule, anyone in this category who possessed a firearm would be committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 36, Overturn methane flaring rule: Passed 221 to 191 in the U.S. House  on February 3, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation that would require energy companies to reduce the release of methane when producing natural gas on federal and tribal lands. The rule would also impose royalty payments on some methane that has been released. This rule would supersede state regulations governing methane releases.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 44, Overturn BLM rule reducing local government role in resource management: Passed 234 to 186 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017 and 51 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 7, 2017

 

To overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s “resource management” rule that would reduce the role of local governments in developing BLM plans and give greater weight to input from the public in the preliminary planning process. 

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 57, Overturn federal failing school mandate: Passed 234 to 190 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017.

 

To overturn a Department of Education regulation directing states to identify failing schools using plans to measure the performance of groups of students according to federal standards.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 58, Overturn teacher preparation regulation: Passed 240 to 181 in the U.S. House on February 7, 2017 and 59 to 40 in the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2017

 

To overturn a Department of Education regulation mandating that states report on the quality of teacher preparation programs, with the possibility of funds being removed from states that do not meet federal standards.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution on 41, Overturn additional disclosure mandates on natural resource companies: Passed 235 to 187 in the U.S. House on February 1, 2017 and 52 to 47 in the U.S. Senate on February 3, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration’s rule that resource extraction companies (such as mining, energy, or timber companies) must disclose any payments, such as fees, made to foreign governments.

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 37, Overturn mandatory reporting rule for labor issues: Passed 236 to 187 in the U.S. House on February 2, 2017 and 49 to 48 in the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration’s regulations that any company bidding on a federal contract over $500,000 must disclose any violations of labor law or alleged violations of labor law from the past three years.

 

 

U.S. House Joint Resolution 38, Overturn coal mining stream rule: Passed 228 to 194 in the U.S. House on February 1, 2017 and 54 to 45 in the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2017

 

To overturn the Obama Administration regulation mandating complex new rules on how coal companies dispose of mining waste near waterways. The rule also mandated that companies must extensively survey ecosystems prior to mining and then fully restore those ecosystems once mining is complete.

 

U.S. House Bill 78, Modify financial regulation procedure: Passed 243 to 184 in the U.S. House on January 12, 2017

 

To require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) determine the nature and source of a problem before it issues a regulation; issue a regulation only if the benefits justify its cost; assess alternatives to a regulation; and only promulgate regulations that are understandable. The bill also requires that the SEC review old regulations to determine if they are still needed or are too burdensome, and assess the economic impact and effectiveness of large regulations it proposes.

 

U.S. House Bill 35, Reshape federal regulation process: Passed 238 to 183 in the U.S. House on January 11, 2017

 

To alter how federal agencies issue regulations. This bill would require that agencies consider the cost of proposed regulations and issue less costly rules if possible, give judges wider leeway to strike down regulations, and prevent regulations costing a billion dollars or more from going into effect until any court challenges against them have been settled. The bill would also require that regulators consider new rules’ impact on small business, publish transparency reports, and write 100-word regulatory summaries in plain English.

 

U.S. House Bill 26, Mandate congressional approval of major regulations: Passed 237 to 187 in the U.S. House on January 5, 2017

 

To require that Congress must approve “major” regulations before they go into effect. The bill defines these regulations as costing the economy $100 million annually, imposing a major cost increase on consumers, or significantly affecting U.S. economic productivity or competition.

 

U.S. House Bill 21, Allow review of last-minute regulations: Passed 238 to 184 in the U.S. House on January 4, 2017

 

To empower Congress to disapprove whole batches of new regulations imposed during the last days of a president’s term by agencies with a single roll call vote. Under current law, congress has the authority to invalidate "last minute rules" promulgated by an outgoing administration, but doing so requires them to be disapproved one at a time. This legislation would allow disapproval of all regulations submitted during the last 60 days of the congressional session that occurs during the final year of a president’s term.

 

Comment below to share what you think on regulatory reform!

Wisconsin Senate Bill 10: Allow wider use of cannabidiol oil

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Wisconsin, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 10, Allow wider use of cannabidiol oil: Passed 31 to 1 in the state Senate on February 8, 2017

 

To allow the possession of cannabidiol oil with the certification from a physician that the oil is for the treatment of a medical condition. Current law allows the possession of cannabidiol only for the treatment of seizures.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Wisconsin Senate Bill 10!

 

Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution 9: Call for planning balanced budget constitutional convention

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Tennessee, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Joint Resolution 9, Call for planning balanced budget constitutional convention: Passed 27 to 3 in the state Senate on February 6, 2017

 

To call for a convention of the states to make plans for a convention that would amend the federal Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution 9!

 

North Carolina House Bill 3: Constitutional amendment on using eminent domain to take private property

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in North Carolina, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 3, Constitutional amendment on using eminent domain to take private property: Passed 104 to 9 in the state House on February 16, 2017

 

To add provisions to the state constitution related to eminent domain property takings, limiting this to "public use" purposes only. Current law allows it for "public use or benefit." The state Supreme Court has also let it be used for "public purpose." The amendment would also require the amount of "just compensation" for taking the property to be determined by a jury trial, if the property owner requests it. It would add natural gas facilities and pipelines to the list of public uses.

 

Comment below to share what you think of North Carolina House Bill 3!

 

Tax Increases Coming to West Virginia?

 

 

If Governor Jim Justice gets his way, West Virginians may be paying higher taxes and fees. In his budget proposal, the governor has asked legislators to approvea variety of tax increases as a way to eliminate the gap between revenue and desired spending.

 

In early February, the governor proposed tax and fee increases that included:

  • Increasing the sales tax from 6% to 6.5%
  • Imposing the sales tax on a variety of services that are currently untaxed
  • Levying a .2% gross receipts tax, which a business would pay regardless of its profitability
  • Increasing the beer tax
  • Raising the DMV license fee by $20

 

Gov. Justice also proposed raising the gasoline tax by 10 cents a gallon to pay for new infrastructure projects. That would bring the state gasoline tax to 43.2 cents a gallon.

 

Later in the month, he revised his proposal in a few significant ways:

  • Increasing the gasoline tax by 4.5 cents a gallon as opposed to 10 cents
  • Charging out-of-state motorists increased tolls when they use West Virginia toll roads
  • Imposing a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks

 

Do you think these tax increases are the best way to deal with the state’s budget situation? Are you willing to pay higher gasoline prices to pay for state infrastructure projects?

 

Nevada Senate Bill 70: Dispose of items left at veterans memorials

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Nevada, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 70, Dispose of items left at veterans memorials: Passed 21 to 0 in the state Senate on February 14, 2017

 

To allow the Director of the Department of Veterans Services to transfer abandoned or unclaimed property, such as those items occasionally left at shrines or memorials, to entities such as the Nevada State Museum, the Nevada Historical Society, and any other governmental agency or nonprofit entity. The Director must first, however, create and publish a formal policy regarding the transfer, destruction, or other disposal of such
abandoned or unclaimed property.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Nevada Senate Bill 70!

 

Missouri: House Bill 130: Regulate ride sharing services

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Missouri, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 130, Regulate ride sharing services: Passed 140 to 16 in the state House on January 26, 2017

 

To establish a regulatory framework that would enable “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft to operate in this state, including a preemption on local government regulations or bans.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Missouri House Bill 130!

 

New Hampshire Senate Bill 12: Allow concealed pistol carry without a license

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in New Hampshire, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 12, Allow concealed pistol carry without a license: Passed 13 to 10 in the state Senate on January 19, 2017

 

To repeal the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver and to make certain other modifications to state gun laws.

 

Comment below to share what you think of New Hampshire Senate Bill 12!

 

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 3: Limit Dismemberment Abortions

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Pennsylvania, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 3, Limit Dismemberment Abortions: Passed 32 to 18 in the state Senate on February 8, 2017

 

To impose strict limits on the use of abortions using the technique of dilation and evacuation, or dismemberment, and to ban the use of this technique, with limited exceptions, before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 3!

 

The Veto Battle in Virginia

 

 

How many bills will Governor Terry McAuliffe veto this year?

Governor McAuliffe, a Democrat, is at odds with the Republicans who control the General Assembly. This disagreement flares up in many ways, from the state budget to public statements. However, the most consequential example of the partisan split is seen in the fate of legislation. Last year, the governor vetoed thirty-five bills. He has already started vetoing bills this year. Here are some of the bills that have met the governor’s disapproval:

 

HB 1582 – To allow an active duty military member or a military member who has received an honorable discharge to obtain a concealed handgun permit at the age of 18. Current law allows concealed handgun permits for anyone 21 years of age or older.

 

HB 1578 – To allow a home schooled student to participate in interscholastic programs, such as sports, offered by public schools.

 

HB 1432 – To allow someone to carry a concealed switchblade knife if the person is engaged in a lawful activity that is enhanced by the use of a switchblade.

 

HB 2264 -- To prohibit state funding for organizations that provide abortions (this is mainly aimed at Planned Parenthood). The bill would also deny funding abortions that are not allowed under the Medicaid program, which denies payments for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a mother’s life being endangered.

 

HB 2198 -- To reinstate a tax credit program for coal production and employment, with a limit of $7.3 million a year. The program would last until 2022. This bill is similar to one that the General Assembly passed last year. That bill, which would have prevented this subsidy program from expiring in 2016, was vetoed by Governor McAuliffe.

 

Unless some Democrats decide to vote against McAuliffe, Republicans do not have enough votes to override the governor’s vetoes.

 

What do you think of Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes? Do you agree with him that these bills should not become law? Or do you think that he is standing in the way of good public policy?

 

Colorado House Bill 1143: Audit government communications with Medicaid recipients

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Colorado, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 1143, Audit government communications with Medicaid recipients: Passed 63 to 0 in the state House on February 21, 2017

 

To audit correspondence between the government and recipients of Medicaid for readability, understandability, and accuracy.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Colorado House Bill 1143!

 

Iowa House Bill 312: Let motorists leave a car running unattended

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Iowa, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 312, Let motorists leave a car running unattended: Passed 98 to 1 in the state House on February 22, 2017

 

To remove language in state law that forbids motorists from leaving a car running unattended. The law continues to require motorists to engage the parking brake in such circumstances.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Iowa House Bill 312!

 

Michigan House Bill 4001: Cut state income tax rate .2 percent

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Michigan, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 4001, Cut state income tax rate .2 percent: Failed 52 to 55 in the state House on February 23, 2017

 

To cut the state income tax from the current 4.25 percent to 4.05 percent over two years. Twelve Republicans voted 'no' and one Democrat voted 'yes.'

 

Comment below to share what you think of Michigan House Bill 4001!

 

What’s Up with President Trump’s Budget?

 

 

Defense spending up. Big cuts to social programs. Federal funding for the arts on the chopping block.

 

You may have seen headlines or social media posts that give details about President Trump’s budget. Depending on where you stand, you may be cheering, weeping, or shrugging your shoulders. But what is actually going on with the president’s spending plan?

 

Officially, nothing is going on – yet. A 1990 law requires that the president submit a budget proposal to Congress by early February. Donald Trump has not done so (he wouldn’t be the first president to miss the deadline). In fact, his spokesman says that the president’s budget will be unveiled “later this year.”

 

Right now, the White House has asked agencies to find a way to increase defense spending by $54 billion and cut other spending by an equal amount.  That gives a broad idea of what the president will propose, but it does not give any details about what agencies may be targeted for cuts or what shape those cuts may take.

 

Even after the president submits his budget, this does not mean that his spending plan will go into effect. Under the federal budget procedure, the president submits a budget, but Congress must pass its own budget resolution. The congressional budget resolution may or may not incorporate what the president wants to see happen. Each chamber passes its own resolution, and these two versions must be reconciled by the two chambers.

 

The congressional budget is not even the final spending plan. It is, instead, a detailed outline of what spending should look like. If the resolution recommends changes to mandatory spending programs such as Medicaid and Social Security, Congress must pass those changes. For non-mandated spending, such as on defense or national parks, the congressional budget resolution provides a guide for appropriation committees to allocate actual spending amounts. The budget resolution does set forth special rules for consideration of some items, so it is a useful blueprint for Congress to take on future spending decisions.

 

It should be pointed out that this process is often ignored by Congress. Some years it does not pass any budget resolution. Instead, it simply passes appropriations bills to authorize a certain level of federal spending. We don’t know if that could happen this year. Given that the president is not close to submitting his budget resolution (remember, it was due in early February), chances are good that we’ll see some interesting maneuvers during this year’s budget process.

 

Comment below and share how you think President Trump and Congress should structure the 2017 federal budget!

 

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 166: Ban Deduction of Fees for Union Political Activity

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Pennsylvania, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 166, Ban Deduction of Fees for Union Political Activity: Passed 28 to 22 in the state Senate on February 8, 2017

 

To prohibit governments from deducting money from employees on behalf of unions that the unions will then use for political purposes.

 

 Comment below to share what you think of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 166!

 

Iowa Follows Wisconsin’s Lead on Unions

 

 

The fight over government worker unionization has come to Iowa.

 

Last week, the legislature passed a bill that would limit the power of government employee unions. Here is how VoteSpotter described the bill:

 

To limit the scope of collective bargaining for union of government workers, require ongoing elections of employees to keep a union in place, and prohibit the government from collecting dues or political contributions for a union. Some parts of this act do not apply to public safety employees.

 

With Republicans controlling the legislature and the governorship, this bill faced little serious opposition on its way into law.

 

Republicans in the Hawkeye State were inspired by legislation from Wisconsin in 2011. That was when Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in that state’s legislature enacted a bill, known as Act 10, to limit collective bargaining for government workers over fierce pushback by union and activists. By contrast, the Iowa legislation did not feature nearly the heated theatrics and political wrangling as occurred in Wisconsin.

 

What will happen in the wake of this bill’s enactment in Iowa? It may face a court challenge, as Act 10 did. If courts uphold the law, then Iowa will likely see a decline in government union membership, given the experience of Wisconsin. One analysis concluded that Act 10 produced $5 billion in savings for Wisconsin taxpayers over five years, so something similar could occur in Iowa, too. In fact, it seems that the effects of Act 10 are still being sorted out in Wisconsin, so it may take Iowa years to see the full impact of this legislation.

 

What do you think of this type of legislation? Are government unions too powerful? Or are legislators on the wrong track in limiting collective bargaining for government employees?

 

Updates to Missouri Senate Bill 19: Adopt a "right to work" law

 

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Missouri, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 19, Adopt a "right to work" law: Passed 21 to 12 in the state Senate on January 26, 2017 and 100 to 59 in the state House on February 2, 2017

 

To prohibit employers from requiring employees to join or financially support a labor union as a condition of employment.

 

Senate Bill 19, Submit 'right-to-work' law to statewide voter referendum: Failed 12 to 21 in the state Senate on January 23, 2017 and 64 to 91 in the state House on February 2, 2017

 

To submit to the voters in November of 2018 a referendum to prohibit employers from requiring employees to join or financially support a labor union as a condition of employment.

 

Senate Bill 19, Limit union ability to delay right-to-work law in workplace: Failed 10 to 20 in the state Senate on January 25, 2017 and 60 to 98 in the state House on February 2, 2017

 

To delete language from the new Missouri right-to-work law that defines any changes made to an existing collective bargaining agreement as essentially making it a new agreement. The law becomes effective in a particular workplace only after its current union contract expires. In some states that recently enacted right-to-work laws, public employee unions and employers claimed to make themselves exempt by extending the duration of existing contracts. Missouri's law prohibits doing that here, and the amendment would have removed that language.

 

Senate Bill 19, Change the penalty for violating right-to-work law: Failed 12 to 20 in the state Senate on January 24, 2017

 

To change the penalty for violations of a Missouri right-to-work law from a "class C misdemeanor" to an "infraction" (which means no threat of jail or prison).

 

Comment below to share what you think of Missouri Senate Bill 19!

 

Iowa House Bill 291: Limit Collective Bargaining for Unionized Government Workers and Require Ongoing Recertification of Unions

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Iowa, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

House Bill 291, Limit collective bargaining for unionized government workers and require ongoing recertification of unions: Passed 29 to 21 in the state Senate and 53 to 47 in the state House on February 16, 2017

 

To limit the scope of collective bargaining for union of government workers, require ongoing elections of employees to keep a union in place, and prohibit the government from collecting dues or political contributions for a union. Some parts of this act do not apply to public safety employees.

 

Also of note: Legislators in both chambers attempted to 'kill' the bill before its passage - 

 

Senate Bill 213, To kill a bill that would limit the scope of collective bargaining in government: Failed 21 to 29 in the state Senate on February 14, 2017

 

To amend the bill that limits the scope of collective bargaining for government employees by deleting its "enacting clause," effectively killing the bill.

 

House Bill 291, To kill a bill that would limit the scope of collective bargaining in government: Failed 41 to 55 in the state House on February 15, 2017

 

To amend the bill that limits the scope of collective bargaining for government employees, effectively removing its prohibition on collective bargaining for most topics.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Iowa House Bill 213!

 

North Carolina House Bill 7: Earmark share of revenue increases to the state's rainy-day fund

 

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in North Carolina, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

North Carolina House Bill 7, Earmark share of revenue increases to the state's rainy-day fund: Passed 110 to 3 in the state House on February 15, 2017

 

To set aside 15 percent of new revenue growth per year in the state saving reserve. That fund currently gets one-fourth of what's left over in state coffers at the end of the fiscal year. The bill would limit the fund's use to avoiding spending cuts if revenue declines, if a court ruling imposes damages against the state, or if there is a state emergency. Also, if a proposed withdrawal is more than 7.5 percent of the last state budget, the bill would require a two-thirds vote of both houses to approve it.

 

Comment below to share what you think of North Carolina House Bill 7!