Pension Reform

Look to the States on Labor Policy

Following his testimony in front of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee last week, Missouri State Senator Bob Onder penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, explaining that federalization of public sector labor law would preclude reform efforts in the states that protect both workers and taxpayers.

Examples of such reforms include provisions of Missouri’s law newly signed last year. Our law codified the certification process, gave workers the right to vote every three years as to whether they wanted to continue to be represented by a government union or choose a different union, and gave workers the right to annually opt in or out of union dues payment.

Additionally, Senator Onder pointed to Rich States, Poor States as evidence that states with powerful public sector unions often have poor fiscal health.

If we use Rich States, Poor States 2019 to look at the states with the worst fiscal conditions and the highest taxes, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut stand out. And they have one thing in common: very strong government unions. These three states’ unfunded public pension liabilities average $29,311 for every man, woman, and child.

If there is one thing that everyone can agree on, it is that different states take very different approaches to labor policy. It’s because different states through the democratic process make different decisions as to how to manage the employees who render valuable public services. Some states allow collective bargaining. Some mandate it. Others ban it. But each state has very particular reasons for its decisions.

Read his full op-ed in the Washing Examiner by clicking here.


In Depth: Pension Reform

Modern, 401(k)-style plans are now commonplace in the private sector. For state workers, however, traditional pensions are still the norm. As former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist wrote in Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform, this is not a partisan issue, but a math problem. State Budget …

+ Pension Reform In Depth