( The opinions contained in guest opinion pieces are the author’s and may not reflect the views of RedState.com. )
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is doing little to hide his desire to be the next White House occupant. He apparently plans to use the same strategy Joe Biden used — sucking up labor and unions of government employees in particular.
Newsom’s resume is littered with union sellouts — which goes a long way toward explaining how he’s managed to turn the Golden State into an open cesspool — but the most recent was his approval on June 27 of a state budget that has the potential to force taxpayers to subsidize union dues while handing California’s labor unions an unprecedented handout to shore up their Janus-depleted finances.
The so-called Workers’ Fairness tax Credit would change union dues from being a tax deduction into a credit. The budget earmarks $200 million to “begin” a policy of paying union members for paying union dues.
“The credit level will be set in the budget each year,” the Assembly Floor Report states, “but will not exceed 33 percent of dues paid.”
Senate Bill 189, signed into law on June 30, includes a plan to “(i)mplement a tax credit under the Personal Income Tax Law to offset a portion of costs associated with union membership.”
However, it is still at least two years before the tax credit can be implemented. 2024 Legislators must determine if the state can afford it. Additional legislation will be needed to allow the program to start.
It would only affect the 16 percent of state workers with union memberships, which in 2021 was 2.4 million people.
“This is a massive gift to union members,” said John Moorlach, a former Republican state senator from Costa Mesa, to the Epoch Times. We’re back in an era where an association has too much power .”
Moorlach, the only CPA in the legislature during his 2015-20 tenure, noted that a union worker who paid $1,200 in dues and owed $1,000 in taxes would reduce the liability by $400 (one-third), leaving the state only $600.
“( The law has a foul smell,” he said. It doesn’t smell right. It is a huge tax law amendment .”
” If this tax credit is made law, it would fall on the taxpayers,” said Maxford Nelsen of Freedom Foundation, who was director for labor policy at conservative think tank Freedom Foundation. It’s extremely troubling .”
Nelsen said the legislation is just the latest in a long line of union pushbacks following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which affirmed that mandatory union membership, dues, and fees in the public sector are a violation of the workers’ First Amendment rights.
” “I can tell you that this proposal is the most terrible we have seen,” he stated. It’s just a few steps from California sending checks to Democratic Party. That’s I find that outrageous
“In California it’s government by and for the Unions,” stated Jon Coupal of The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
The enactment the country’s first tax credit for union fees comes only a few months following Congressional Democrats tried to pass a federal deduction above-the line for payments to union dues. This would have been available to all taxpayers, even those who don’t itemize.
The proposal is one of many union giveaways included in Biden’s Build Back better program. It has been stalled.
“California’s dominant Democratic Party,” writes columnist Dan Walters in CalMatters, “is joined at the hip with the state’s unions, so it’s not surprising that legislators frequently enact measures aimed at helping their allies recruit and maintain dues-paying members.”
The arrangement has an obvious exception: its workers.
California’s Legislature has resisted several efforts to let its employees form a union. These attempts were largely pushed by former Assemblywoman Lorena González Fletcher ,, who was recently appointed the top official of California Labor Federation.
The measure is very similar to legislation that was recently passed at the federal level.
In May, the House of Representatives passed a union-drafted, Biden-backed bill which gave House staffers legal protections to organize. When the resolution became effective, eight progressive legislative offices workers filed petitions at the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights. This was the first step towards forming a union.
This, too, is expected to be approved in California. Gavin Newsom is likely to sign the law when it becomes law.
Because there is nothing that would make Governor and his unions happier than turning the whole country into California, if not Venezuela.
Jeff Rhodes serves as vice president of news and information at the Freedom Foundation. www.FreedomFoundation.com