Last week, we got some great news from the State House — Governor Charlie Baker sent the so called Janus "Fix” anti-privacy bill back to the legislature with amendments.
Governor Charlie Baker clearly recognized the bill went well beyond fixing any “loopholes” that arose from the US Supreme Court's Janus decision, and moved to protect state employees that would have had their rights to privacy violated by the pending legislation.
In his message back to the legislature, he noted that, “These provisions would jeopardize the privacy rights of public employees..." To download a copy of Governor Baker's letter, click here.
The Governor's amendments included provisions to limit the information provided by employers to union bosses, require employee consent before sharing any information, allow employees to opt out of meetings with union bosses, and require employees be provided with information on their rights regarding union membership (or non-membership).
Some House and Senate Republican lawmakers pushed to amend the legislation before the bill got to the Governor's desk. They raised many of the same privacy concerns the Governor did. For state senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) and state Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk), the only lawmakers who voted against the bill entirely, they should feel a sense of vindication by the Governor's strong reaction toward the bill. If you would like to see how your state representative and senator voted on the bill and the amendments, please visit www.MassFiscalScorecard.org.
MassFiscal worked hard to make sure lawmakers were educated and we saw hundreds of constituents contact their legislators with concerns over the bill. In fact, though our Call to Action page on our website, we know every state senator was contacted by a constituent. It’s good to see your advocacy pay off.
The Governor’s amendments are a good faith effort to address the privacy concerns many had with the bill. MassFiscal supports these amendments and urges lawmakers to adopt. Legislative leaders will have to vote for the Governor's amendments or reject them again. We hope Republican leadership in the legislature will stand behind the Governor and urge the Democratic legislature to adopt the Governor's amendments.
As always, we’ll keep you updated. Please check back to our Call to Action page for any updates. Consider sharing this post on your social media pages.