The House Labor and Industry Committee heard testimony from local leaders Thursday on the need to make Kentucky a right-to-work state before voting down the legislation.
Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, would prohibit requiring any worker to join a union as a condition of employment. The Kentucky Chamber believes union membership should be a matter of personal choice, and the freedom not to affiliate with a labor union is no less deserving of protection that the freedom to affiliate.
The legislation passed the Senate during the first week of the 2015 session of the General Assembly.
At the local level, many communities have passed right-to-work ordinances to make their areas more competitive.
Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce President Ron Bunch testified in front of the House committee to discuss the reasons his region decided to be the first to pass right-to-work at the local level and what it will mean for businesses in Warren County.
Kentucky Association of Economic Development President Hal Goode said many site selection specialists he has spoken with all say we need right-to-work laws because lack of the law is hindering our economic development. Goode went on to echo the sentiments of Stivers that right-to-work would provide the state with another needed tool in the tool box to help move Kentucky forward.
Hear testimony from the supportive leaders below:
Supporters of statewide right-to-work legislation also gathered at the Capitol Thursday afternoon to urge lawmakers to pass SB 1 during a rally hosted by Americans for Prosperity, Protect My Paycheck and Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green.
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Adkisson spoke to Kentuckians at the rally, explaining the ways Kentucky is being held back by not being a right-to-work state. He said an important takeaway is that locally, right-to-work has not been a partisan issue; it’s been a jobs issue.
Others, including Sens. Robert Stivers and Damon Thayer and Reps. Jim DeCesare and Adam Koenig, said they were disappointed that the House killed the legislation in committee but stated that now more than ever, local officials need to take action on right-to-work.