May 3, 2023, Harrisburg, Pa.—Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 950, a constitutional amendment that would create a new “fundamental right” to organize and collectively bargain and prohibit the state from passing any law that “interferes with, negates, or diminishes” that right.
The Commonwealth Foundation previously called the bill a “radical union leader power grab.” HB 950 will harm workers, infringe on legislative authority, and lead to property tax increases.
David Osborne, the Commonwealth Foundation’s senior fellow for labor policy, made the following remarks on April 26 in opposition to HB 950 during testimony before the House Labor and Industry Committee:
“This is an ill-conceived, poorly worded, and ultimately self-destructive bill that will undermine the ability of the General Assembly to do its job, invite expensive litigation against the commonwealth and every state and local government, and permit collective bargaining agreements to supersede countless state laws. It will unintentionally hurt the employees we all want to help.”
After the House of Representatives voted to pass HB 950, Osborne said,
“This bill will have disastrous consequences to Pennsylvanians—from trampling the rights of workers to giving union executives more power than our elected representatives, inevitably increasing the costs of governance and Pennsylvanians’ property taxes. It’s disappointing to see lawmakers put the interests of special interest groups above those of Pennsylvania workers.”
ABOUT DAVID OSBORNE
David R. Osborne is the senior fellow for labor policy with the Commonwealth Foundation. He is an attorney with on-the-ground experience advocating for teachers, firefighters, and other public employees mistreated by union officials. Before joining the Commonwealth Foundation, Osborne was the CEO of Americans for Fair Treatment, a nonprofit organization that supports, educates, and empowers public employees to exercise their First Amendment rights. He also served as president and general counsel of the Fairness Center, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm providing free legal representation to those hurt by public sector union officials, and as a presidential appointee to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which resolves labor impasses between federal agencies and federal employee unions.
Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Erik Telford at (202) 280-8716 or [email protected] to schedule an interview.
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