With the House’s recent approval of the right to work bill drumming up a lot of heat, State Senator Jim Arnold told WKVI that the bill is now on the fast track through the legislative system, and he expects it to land on the governor’s desk by Thursday but first, Arnold says, the bill will be heard today at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate during a Pensions and Labor Committee meeting. Following that, the bill will be voted on again on Tuesday with an opportunity for amendments to be heard on the floor of the Senate.
Arnold says that the floor will vote once more on the bill on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the bill will be on the governor’s desk for signature. There is a limited amount of time to get the bill out of the Senate, explained Arnold, because all bills must be out of the Senate and sent to the House by Wednesday.
“So I can imagine they’ll be burning some midnight oil down there to get those bills out and over to the Senate by Wednesday. It’s going to start moving at a normal pace hopefully when we come back from the Super Bowl on Monday,” Arnold explained.
While the acceleration of the process is unusual, Arnold says a number of questions have been raised concerning the bill that have not yet been answered.
“Why it’s been fast-tracked, why we’re setting it around the Super Bowl, why we haven’t allowed the people to have a referendum vote on this, why we can’t at least delay it until January 1st of 2013,” Arnold said, “Those are all good questions we all had, but being in the minority—the majority rules, and they set the game rules and that’s what we have to abide by.”
The right to work bill has caught a lot of public attention and has become a point of contention, but, as Arnold explains, it is not the only bill affecting taxpayers. 415 bills were filed in the Senate, and 400 in the House, and Arnold says that each of these bills is important.
“There were 800 bills and I think the people ought to be well aware of the fact that there were many, many bills filed dealing with other issues that are just as important as right to work and probably more so that either aren’t going to get a hearing or are going to die because of this right to work legislation that took on a life of its own this session,” Arnold said.