The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Reeves’ union ballot bill fails
BY CHELYEN DAVIS
RICHMOND—On a tie vote, the state Senate has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to protect secret ballots for union workers.
Sen. Bryce Reeves, R–Spotsylvania, proposed the amendment last year—it was carried over to this legislative session.
It was intended to thwart any future federal “card check” laws that might make public the union voting processes that are currently secret. Putting into the state constitution language protecting secret ballots, Reeves said, would provide a greater guarantee and give state voters a chance to decide the issue.
Democrats, however, spoke out against the amendment, arguing that it seeks to direct elections that are covered by federal, not state, law.
Sen. Dick Saslaw, D–Fairfax, said Reeves’ amendment also sought to stop something that isn’t likely to ever pass at the federal level. Saslaw noted that the AFL–CIO pushed for the federal “card check” law for open union elections for years ago and couldn’t get a hearing for its proposal.
The Senate vote was 20-20, split along partisan lines, Reeves said. While Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling can usually vote to break ties, he’s not allowed to do so on constitutional amendments, and a tie vote means the amendment failed to pass.
Chelyen Davis: 804/343-2245