February 16, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Charleston, VA – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he would veto a “right to work” bill approved by the state House of Delegates Feb. 4. Ten Republicans voted against the measure, which passed by a 54-46 margin.
State Senate president Bill Cole said Feb. 9 that the upper house, which passed the bill on an 18-16 party-line vote, would take it up again “quickly” if the governor vetoes it. Cole said he would “really personally refuse to allow this to fall into a war on the unions,” although the bill would require unions to represent workers who refuse to pay “fair-share” fees for that benefit, and the legislature has also voted to repeal the state’s prevailing-wage law for construction workers on public jobs. Neither bill has reached Tomblin’s desk yet, but the Republican leadership wanted to pass them early in the 60-day session, because if they’re sent to the governor with fewer than 15 days to go, he can avoid an override by vetoing them after it ends. Read more