California Republican proposes Wisconsin-type bill
California Republicans are finding inspiration in the Midwest.
Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) introduced a bill Tuesday that would eliminate the right of public employees to collectively bargain for pension benefits. The measure is partly a response to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose controversial bill to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employee unions has prompted massive protests and a walkout by Democratic lawmakers. The Indiana state Senate also has passed a bill that would limit the power of teachers’ unions.
“I stand in solidarity with the courageous legislators in the Midwest who are taking brave steps to do the right thing for all of their citizens, not just public employee union campaign contributors,” Mansoor said in a statement.
Opposition to Mansoor’s bill will likely be swift in deep-blue California. The state has a Democratic-majority Legislature, and Gov. Jerry Brown has already said he would not pursue Wisconsin-type measures to challenge public employees. Republicans, however, are demanding pension reform as part of the state's ongoing budget talks.
Like labor organizations elsewhere this week, the state’s largest public employee unions have planned a candlelight vigil on the Capitol steps Tuesday evening in support of Wisconsin workers.
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento