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Jim Justice

Gov. Justice does Justice

New West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice vetoes Right-to-Work legislation

Posted on
Mar 29, 2017

2017 has not been a good year for beating back Right to Work (for Less) bills at the state level.  Just this year two states, Kentucky and Missouri have both passed bills to make their states Right to Work.  In West Virginia, where they passed Right to Work in 2016, the implementation has been on hold due to a court challenge.  Republicans in the legislature decided to try and circumvent the court and retroactively pass an amendment that they believe would have passed the courts scrutiny.  Instead, Governor Jim Justice decided to veto the bill.  Read more below.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have retroactively amended last year’s right-to-work legislation amid its ongoing legal battle.

Justice vetoed the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, SB 330, because of the pending lawsuit against the bill and the injunction filed against its enforcement, according to a news release sent out from his office.

“[Last year’s version of the bill] is currently being challenged as unconstitutional in Kanawha County Circuit Court and the injunctive relief issued by that Court has been appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals,” he said. “Any amendment to this statute before such time as a Court has finally determined its constitutionality is imprudent and contrary to public policy.”

Tuesday’s veto is the first from the Justice administration.

The bill in question was written to allow workers in union shops to opt out of paying union dues, but still receive union representation. Supporters of right-to-work legislation often argue a mandate to buy union dues burdens businesses and infringes on employees’ rights of free association. Critics say the laws weaken unions and enable free riders.

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