07.02.10

Enzi: Collective Bargaining Mandate Burdens States, Localities In Time Of Crisis

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today voiced strong opposition to an amendment added last night by House Democrats to the emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which would give the federal government new powers to override local decisions and allow collective bargaining by public safety personnel.

“This amendment would hit local municipalities during a time of budgetary crisis for no reason other than to reward big labor unions.  I urge my Senate colleagues to reject the House amendment and send back a clean bill,” said Enzi.  “Allowing the federal government to overturn state laws that have already rejected collective bargaining at a time when local communities already can’t pay teachers or maintain basic services is simply reckless.”

Enzi’s longstanding concerns with the legislation have focused on the danger of imposing enormous unfunded mandates on local governments struggling to balance their budgets.  Collectively, local municipalities are expected to face a fiscal shortfall of up to $83 billion over the next two years.  Estimates are that states collectively have been grappling with a $375 billion budget gap for 2010-2011.

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