Today’s News and Commentary – October 30

Published October 30th, 2013 -  - 10.30.13


Unions have held back in supporting the roll out the Affordable Care Act, and Politico explores why.  Public-sector unions have been left largely untouched by the legislation; with their hands already full, these unions have little incentive to help register non-members for benefits that members themselves won’t receive.  In the private sector, negotiations are ongoing to address union concerns about reinsurance fees on group health care plans, a sticking point that has stopped Big Labor from going to bat for the ACA.

With New Jersey’s gubernatorial race winding to a close, Republicans are reflecting on whether Chris Christie’s approach to governing and campaigning provides a model for GOP success.  As the Wall Street Journal notes, the Christie campaign has met with success in reaching out to both minority voters and trade unions.

At oral argument yesterday, a Second Circuit panel proved unsympathetic to arguments by lawyers representing NYC and its police unions arguing for a stay of court-ordered reforms to the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies pending appeal.  The New York Times explains that the panel seemed skeptical of the value of a stay in light of the pending mayoral election: the election is expected to be won quite handily by stop-and-frisk opponent Bill de Blasio.

Employees of two of Montgomery County Maryland’s trash-hauling contractors will be back on the job today after a two-week strike, the Washington Post reports.  Workers at unionized Potomac Disposal will see improved wages and benefits, though the parties fell short of bargaining for reasonably priced health insurance.  The other firm, Unity Disposal and Recycling, is non-unionized and workers walked out after filing complaints with the NLRB, arguing that their employer was trying to intimidate pro-union employees.

The rise of several state owned airlines from the Persian Gulf is sparking a “barrage of legal and political challenges” from major US airlines and the US pilots union, who argue that the subsidies the Gulf Airlines enjoy has skewed the competition for lucrative international travel.  For instance, the Wall Street Journal notes that the airlines and pilots union lobbied Congress to block the opening of a US customs facility at an Abu Dhabi airport that isn’t serviced by US airlines.

Writing in the New York Times op-ed page, Frank Bruni notes that on Election Day next Tuesday, Coloradans will have a chance to ratify a “Bold Bid for Better Schools.”  The proposed reform—Amendment 66—is supported by some leading advocates for charter schools, which would be funded at nearly the same level as public schools for the first time.  Amendment 66 is also supported by prominent teachers’ unions, as passage would result in the infusion of nearly a billion dollars in pre-K-12 public education. The Amendment would require a tax hike, and Coloradans have a right under state law to vote on state tax increases.

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