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MNA Legislative Update 02-03-12
Anti-Union Bills Pass House Committee
On Tuesday, January 31st, the House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee voted out a package of anti-labor bills to the full House. The bills were voted on along party lines. With only two Democrats on the committee, the Republicans had no problem pushing all four bills to the floor.
- HB 5023: A bill to expand the classes of public employees who would be subjected to penalties for engaging in a prohibited strike.
- HB 5024: A bill to define the activities related to picketing that would be considered unlawful and to outline the fines that would be incurred by individuals doing the picketing.
- HB 5025: A bill to require annual written consent by employees to be submitted to their employers to authorize the deduction of union membership dues from wages.
- HB 5026: A bill to prohibit the importation or contracting for the importation of strikebreakers from outside the state of Michigan.
If you have not already done so, please take a minute to go to the MNA in Action web page and email your state representative asking them NOT to support this anti-union, anti-labor package of bills because they do nothing to create jobs or to help Michigan’s working families.
House Health Policy Hears Testimony on Mental Health Concerns
This Thursday the House Health Policy Committee took testimony on three pieces of legislation related to mental health. The bills were met with strong resistance from groups who have well-established substance abuse services, as well as separate mental health services, in their communities and do not want to see them merged into one single service. The committee will continue to take testimony on the bills because the possibility of eliminating access to strong mental health and substance abuse services is of great concern to many Michigan communities.
- HB 4862: A bill to merge mental health and substance abuse services.
- HB 4863: A bill to eliminate local substance abuse treatment coordinating agencies and to refer substance abuse services to community mental health services programs.
- HB 5315: A bill to modify the standards for finger-printing, photographing, audio-recording and using one-way glass for mental health patients and to regulate video surveillance in psychiatric hospitals.
Right-to-Work (For Less) Passes Indiana Legislature
Last Wednesday, Right-to-Work (For Less) legislation officially passed the Indiana state legislature. With the ink barely dry on the new, offensive piece of legislation, Michigan’s Republican legislators are claiming the pressure is higher than ever before to make Right-to-Work (For Less) Michigan’s new working reality. Rep. Mike Shirkey – R, Sen. Patrick Colbeck – R and Speaker of the House Jase Bolger are all on board to support this legislation. We can’t wait for this dreaded legislation to rear its ugly head. We have to act now by calling and writing to our state legislators to tell them that any support they give to Right-to-Work (For Less) will be sorely remembered when we step into our voting booths on Election Day this November.
Legislation & Politics on the MNA Website
If it has been awhile since you were on our website, www.minurses.org, please take a few minutes to check it out. MNA staff has been working hard to keep the site updated, maintained and easy to navigate. You can find all sorts of resources and forms to make your life as an active MNA member easy and successful. In particular, check out the Legislation & Politics tab for new factsheets of information, links to bills that we are following closely and a Legislative Focus brochure that will be a helpful tool to guide you through the sea of legislation we’re sure to navigate this year.
Become an MNA Legislative Liaison
The Legislative Liaison Program kicked off last week during the Congress on Public Policy’s first meeting of the year. The debate was lively and the ideas were overflowing. Go to our website at http://www.minurses.org/legislation/legliaison to find out how you can become the Legislative Liaison in your unit.
Michigan Nurses MARCH! ~ March 14th, 2012
The annual Michigan Nurses MARCH event is just around the corner! Join us at the Lansing Center on Wednesday, March 14th, for an educational experience you’ll not soon forget. Registration forms are available online at www.minurses.org or by regular mail if you contact Mariam Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to register is Wednesday, February 29th, 2012. Space is limited this year, so please take a minute to sign up sooner rather than later.