|Lawmakers in the one of the reddest states in the nation are finally getting around to emulating the courageous purple-state Gov. Scott Walker.|
"On Wednesday," my colleague Dave Bond reports, "House Bill 1749 was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 59-39 vote. The bill, authored by Rep. Tom Newell, would protect taxpayers by taking state government out of the business of collecting membership dues for government labor unions that collectively bargain with state agencies or school districts. This resembles reforms enacted in Wisconsin by Gov. Scott Walker. HB 1749 now goes to the Senate for consideration."
My colleague Trent England has explained why this reform is important (and why FDR himself would approve), and today in The Journal Record OCPA president Michael Carnuccio says this separation of unions and state is long overdue.
As readers of this blog know, Oklahoma's powerful iron triangle sturdily resists parental choice. The Oklahoma Education Association is represented on one side of that triangle. With 22,307 members, the OEA has already lost one-fifth of its membership over the last 10 years. If HB 1749 becomes law and teachers have to start writing their own checks, that decline likely will accelerate.
The House roll call is here. Of particular interest (and deserving particular thanks) are five lawmakers with education backgrounds who voted for the measure: Dennis Casey, Ann Coody, Katie Henke, Jadine Nollan, and Earl Sears.