The Democratic Caucus!
After some careful research and analysis I have found the Top 6 "Bad For Business" (AKA DUMBEST!) bills of 2008. I thought Virginia's thriving business community would be very interested to see just how anti-business our friends on the other side of the aisle are...
1. HB 852 – Collective Bargaining
(Delegate Adam Ebbin, D-Arlington)
- This would have repealed Virginia's 15-year old statutory ban on public-sector union monopoly bargaining.
- Union officials who have been granted the exclusive power to speak for union nonmembers as well as members in contract negotiations regularly cite that power as a pretext for enacting additional anti-Right to Work legislation that forces union nonmembers to pay dues or fees to the union into which they have been corralled. Virginia’s Right to Work laws have been repeatedly cited when receiving national accolades such as the Best State for Business.
2. SB 161 - Binding Arbitration in Workers Compensation
(Senator A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico)
- This would have permitted a union the authority to negotiate with employers to establish a totally separate workers compensation system for employees of unionized construction shops.
- It infringes on non-union workers’ right to work for employers agreeing to collective bargaining agreements with an arbitration clause permitted in this bill. Basically, non-union workers would have no choice.
- Every Democrat member of the House and Senate voted in favor of the bill, even though the Associated General Contractors of Virginia - the business group effected by this bill - was opposed. They instead chose to side with the AFL-CIO who endorsed the bill.
3. HB 599 - Unemployment for Employed Workers
(Delegate Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond)
- This would have allowed people who were engaged in temporary work to continue to receive unemployment compensation.
- Carving out exemptions in the unemployment compensation system undercuts the integrity of the system and allows people to circumvent the rules. By being able to double dip with employment pay and unemployment compensation, these carved-out recipients burden businesses paying into the system.
4. HB 733 - Restroom Access Penalties
(Delegate Chuck Caputo, D-Fairfax)
- This would have created a penalty if a business does not allow certain customers to use their employees’ restroom.
- Providing greater demands on business combined with the threat of fines is not the proper method of cultivating a sound business environment.
5. HB 1230 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting
(Delegate Margaret Vanderhye, D-Fairfax)
- This bill would have required any business emitting greenhouse gases from a facility to record and report on those emissions as well as on the emissions from their motor vehicle fleet.
- Additional regulatory burdens on businesses on top of the current EPA and state regulations are unnecessary and in this case, serve no public policy purpose.
6. SB 713 - Gas Tax Increase
(Senator Richard Saslaw, D-Fairfax)
- Increasing the tax on motor fuels by five cents over five years when gasoline prices are at all-time highs and growing makes little sense.
- In an economy increasingly reliant on on-time delivery and the mobility of goods and services, increasing the cost of doing business means less capital available for growth and after passing the cost on to consumers, less disposable income to spend in the economy.
Thank goodness we have some down to earth legislators in the Republican House Caucus to kill these bills and keep Virginia's businesses among the top in the nation...