Right-To-Work Laws Ranked State by State

Published November 18, 2016

Priya M. Abraham, a senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation, recently published a new study titled Transforming Labor: A Comprehensive, Nationwide Comparison and Grading of Public Sector Labor Laws. The study evaluates 11 key measures that directly affect taxpayers and public employees. The key measures in the study are legality of collective bargaining, cope of collective bargaining, union release time, legality of worker strikes, binding arbitration, union contract negotiation transparency, union certification, opt-out windows, exclusive representation, paycheck protection, and right-to-work legislation.

Twenty-two states failed to obtain a passing grade in Abraham’s report, earning either a “D” or “F” grade. For many of these states, the most important factor was the negative impact public sector labor laws are having on taxpayers and government workers.

Only seven states were given a rank of A+: Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Elizabeth Stelle, director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation, argued in a recent American Spectator article public sector labor issues extend far beyond a state’s right-to-work status, stating, “Even highly graded states will see areas for improvement, including transparency in contract negotiations, legality of worker strikes, workers’ rights in leaving a union, and paycheck protection laws. These are reform areas that can guarantee greater protections of government workers’ freedom of association.”

In a recent Research & Commentary, Heartland Senior Policy Analyst Matthews Glans discusses right-to-work laws, how they create new jobs and foster economic and population growth, and the new right-to-work proposals now being considered in multiple states. “Over the same period, seven of the top 10 job-producing states had right-to-work laws in place, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor,” Glans wrote.

Right-to-work laws create new jobs and foster economic and population growth. State lawmakers should consider implementing right-to-work legislation in those states that currently don’t have this important reform, a decision that is sure to reap significant economic benefits.

What We’re Working On

Budget & Tax
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Research & Commentary: Tax Credit Scholarships Save Taxpayers, School Districts Money
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Energy & Environment
Research & Commentary: Fracking Ban Would Devastate the Colorado Economy
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Health Care
Research & Commentary: Drug Price Controls and Price Transparency
While drug companies have argued for many years their prices are competitive and determined by the cost of development, critics say new laws are needed that would set the price of prescription drugs at “fair” rates. These critics say this form of market manipulation is necessary to guarantee access to pharmaceutical drugs for all people. There are two approaches state legislatures have taken to address the price of medications: transparency requirements and price controls. In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans examines drug price controls and price transparency. “Price caps are vague, obtrusive, and give far too much control over the pharmaceutical market to government regulators. Price gouging can be a problem, but price controls are not the answer. Instead of killing the free market and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, state lawmakers should promote transparency and let the market and legal system monitor drug prices,” wrote Glans. Read more

From Our Free-Market Friends
Hugh Hewitt Named as Keynote Speaker for the Yankee Institute’s Annual Gala
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