Mass. unions protest new limits proposed for political donations

Mass. unions protest new limits proposed for political donations
 MARCH 06, 2019

Labor unions and political organizers on Tuesday urged the state’s top financial regulator to reverse a proposal that would rein in how much money unions can donate to their preferred candidates, arguing it’s “unfair” and could tip the scales of influence.

But that line of reasoning, threaded through testimony to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, met immediate headwinds: Michael Sullivan, the office’s director, told critics that his job isn’t to “level the playing field” but to clarify the law, signaling the arguments will do little to shape the final regulations due later this spring.

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Democrats seek union protections

Democrats seek union protections
Legislators push bill to counter labor ruling
By Christian M. Wade Statehouse Reporter Feb 24, 2019

BOSTON — Democrats are seeking to ease the blow to the state's labor unions from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited collection of dues and fees from workers’ paychecks.

More than 100 state lawmakers — all Democrats — have signed onto legislation that would allow unions to represent nonmembers for grievances and other work-related negotiations, and to charge workers for those costs. The measure would also give organized labor representatives access to new hires and non-union members in state and local government to speak with them about joining a union.

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The States Where the Minority Party Has Major Legislative Clout

The States Where the Minority Party Has
Major Legislative Clout

Republicans hold a small fraction of seats in two Democratic states, but they enjoy outsized power.


In Massachusetts and Oregon, Democrats hold supermajority control of both legislative chambers. In each state, minority Republicans have been given greater deference or authority than their sheer numbers would command. But neither state can be described as a bipartisan paradise as a result.

There’s long been a rule in the Massachusetts Senate to require roll call votes when 20 percent of the members ask for them. But Republicans don’t hold 20 percent of the seats in the state Senate, which would equate to eight out of 40. When their numbers slipped to just seven senators, the rule was changed to allow any seven to require a roll call vote. After the Senate GOP caucus slipped to only six members, the rule was amended to say that the total number of Republican senators, however small, would suffice.

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