The 2016 legislative session could be tense at times in the Senate from the aftermath of Republicans forcing a vote on a right to work bill. The proposal would have prevented workers from having to pay union dues as a requirement for employment. Democrat Leader Joe Keaveny said some Democrats are still upset with Republicans.
“I’ve got some that are still pretty energized and I’ve got some that would like to move on. I would like to see us work our way through this,” said Keaveny. “People didn’t elect us up there not to get anything done. That’s what I’m going to present to my caucus.”
During the last week of the regular session, Senate Democrats stalled for several hours a vote on the bill before Republican leadership used a motion called a “previous question.” The motion forces a vote on the measure. Such a move is considered an insult in a chamber where all members expect to be allowed to speak as long as they like. After that vote, Democrats blocked debate on all but one bill before the end of the session.
If a right to work proposal makes it to the Senate floor again next year, Keaveny said the issue could stir up attitudes.
If it comes up, I think we’ll talk about it for a long time,” said Keaveny. “I think that if the majority party were to call the previous question on it, I’m not sure that the results change. Now bear in mind, we still have a Democratic Governor.”
Keaveny said Senate Democrats meet in January to decide on their approach for the 2016 legislative session. The new session begins on January 6.