Phoenix, AZ – Lawmakers began a special session Monday to put a measure on the
November ballot to guarantee secret votes in union organizing
bids. The plan, pushed by business interests, is designed to
preempt a possible change in federal law allowing unions to be
formed by a majority of affected workers signing cards indicating
that as their preference. A judge threw out an earlier version as
illegal. And the only way to meet the deadline for getting new
language on the ballot was to get Gov. Jan Brewer to call a
special session. Democrat Rebecca Rios pointed out that means
paying 90 lawmakers more than $4,000 a day in living allowance
for three days. So she introduced a measure legislation saying
legislators should forfeit the pay.
(There's a vast majority of us Democratic senators that see this
process as a huge waste of time and taxpayer money. Shocking.
Once again, she's calling us in for truly unimportant issues.
There are some big issues she could have called us in for and
didn't. So to waste time and taxpayer money on this is shameful.)
But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray said her bill won't get a
(First of all, that is totally outside the call of the governor.
And doesn't fit in the call. So it would be illegal to hear it or
vote on the bill.)
Rios admitted she never asked Brewer to amend the call to let the
issue of pay be considered, saying the governor hasn't heeded
Democratic concerns in the past and isn't likely to start now.
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.