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GOP-led Kentucky Senate passes Right to Work bill; Democratic House likely to kill it

Kentucky Public Radio

After a fierce debate, the Republican majority in the Kentucky Senate Thursday passed a Right to Work bill.

But the bill now goes to the Democratic-controlled House, where it will likely be defeated.

The bill would prohibit the charging of union dues as a condition of employment.

Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican, said the bill isn’t anti-union; and its main goal is to prevent companies from forcing employees to join a union.

“An individual where a collective bargaining agreement has been struck can come in and work and not be compelled, forced or asked to pay these in-lieu-of fees, charitable contribution dues, or a joining of a union,’’ Stivers said.

But Democrats in the Senate rose one after the other to fight against the measure, starting with State Sen. Reginald Thomas of Lexington, who argued that states with Right to Work laws see a significant drop in how much workers are paid.

Thomas said that a 2012 report from the Congressional Budget office – “again a non-partisan body that looks at budgetary analysis – what they report is this: If you compare the wages in Right to Work states, what you’ll find is that the wages in the non-Right to Work states are over $7,200 more than the wages in Right to Work states.”