State Rep. Andrew Beeler, the assistant House Republican leader, on Thursday criticized new Democratic legislation to give union bosses more leverage over workers, fund union dues with tax credits, and allow unions to skirt campaign finance limits.
Beeler, R-Port Huron, noted the chair of the key House Elections Committee and other House Democrats introduced the package of bills to support union bosses only a day after a rushed vote on a pay cut plan to repeal Michigan’s right-to-work law and force workers to pay union dues.
“This is a Democrat-planned, elaborate money laundering scheme. Democrats want to use taxpayer dollars to line the pockets of union bosses and fund their own campaigns,” Beeler said. “Not content with their pay cut plan to swindle workers just to prop up their union allies, the radical Democrat majority now wants to rob Michigan taxpayers in the process, then let union lobbyists turn around and spend unlimited money to keep Democrats in power. This gross, self-serving corruption is an abuse of power and an affront to the people of Michigan.”
Beeler called out several radical proposals contained in House Bills 4230-4235. The plan would exempt labor unions from key campaign finance restrictions — allowing a union to make unlimited election-related independent expenditures and authorizing a union’s political organizations to avoid caps on direct contributions to candidate committees. Government bodies, which are currently prohibited from using taxpayer resources for political purposes, would be able to help unions collect payroll deductions to fund political activities. The Democrats’ plan would also create a refundable tax credit to reimburse workers’ dues, fees, and other union expenses; thereby funding unions across the state using taxpayer dollars.
“The budget process is out of control. We are spending more and more money and are giving people less and less transparency. This is exactly why people do not trust government,” said Beeler, R-Port Huron.