The characterization is perhaps too tidy, but many policy decisions in Rhode Island can be explained under the premise that politicians are striving to funnel money to labor unions in an effort of mutual assistance. The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity offers an example in its public comment in support of a proposed Trump administration rule removing the ability of states to send federally backed provider payments to third parties:
It is also morally unjust that federal dollars, earmarked for home care services, could have dues automatically siphoned-off by state government unions from workers’ paychecks, then transferred to the unions, with some of the funds ending-up in the political campaign coffers of SEIU. If the proposed rule is enacted, it would be just and proper that 100% of the allocated federal funding for home care services should first go to the workers; and it would then be up to the unions to collect dues – on their own – from those who freely choose to join.Earlier this summer, after a major push by SEIU and other progressive activists, legislation that had been on the back burner was rammed through Rhode Island’s General Assembly and signed by the Governor. This new law could transfer control of the home care services industry from the private sector to the government and its union allies. This proposed rule, by removing the government as its potential partner, would create less of an incentive for SEIU to attempt to unionize this industry.Please consider a voluntary, tax-deductible subscription to keep the Current growing and free.
At the same time, the burden on state taxpayers would rise, as the government would surely provide frivolous and unnecessary benefits to allow unions to offer a more compelling reason to unionize.
The new law in Rhode Island seeks to lure home care workers, most of whom are now employed under a successfully operating private ‘agency’ system, to register with the government, becoming quasi-public employees, with their names and other personal information then to be turned over to SEIU labor bosses for the purposes of unionization efforts.
Policymakers in Rhode Island strove to make this look like some sort of system innovation to provide better services, but it’s just an opening for labor unions to collect a cut of federal money.