Winter Storm Watch in effect from Wednesday, 6:00 AM CST until Thursday, 6:00 AM CST. Source: U.S. National Weather Service
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

jimwaters6KENTUCKY (7/3/14) — Tis the season to celebrate America’s independence and recent Supreme Court decisions.

Last week, we praised the Kentucky Supreme Court’s ruling prohibiting unelected bureaucrats from enforcing smoking bans on private property while giving elected officials a pass on a controversial policy.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harris v Quinn that homecare providers are not state employees and cannot be forced to pay union dues.

The ludicrousness leading to this case originates in Illinois, which forced parents providing care for their severely disabled children in their home to pay union dues via executive orders by former governor-turned-prison-inmate Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, his political heir. (What is it about chief executives from Illinois using their pens to trump the law?)

Their Caesar-like edicts resulted in labeling homecare providers as “state employees” and unionizing them, which led to union dues being extracted from their already-small mostly Medicare stipends.

Pam Harris, who cares for her severely disabled adult son at home, sued Quinn because she believes that “not a penny of Medicaid funding intended to help provide care for disabled men and women should be taken away and given to the union.”

Harris and her fellow “workers” didn’t even get a choice of which union to join. They were “assigned” to the Service International Employees Union, which reaped up to $20 million in new money because of this scheme.

The SEIU in its reaction to the court’s ruling claimed that the unionization of homecare providers “has proven successful in raising wages, providing affordable health care benefits, and increasing training.”

The question follows: If the union provides such tremendous benefits, why does it need unconstitutional edicts from a felonious governor and his political descendant forcing people to join?

Even if the SEIU provided such benefits, Harris did not believe it was in her best interest to join the union and allow dues to be extracted from the precious resources used to care for her son.

It may be President Obama’s default position to get out his pen when Congress doesn’t do what he wants and unions to revert to forcing homecare providers like Harris to pay dues anyhow – even when they decide union membership isn’t in their best interest or they don’t agree with the political propaganda the $20 million in extra cash helps the SEIU propagate.

However, it’s not what this nation’s founders intended.

They intended for each individual American’s freedom to determine his own path in life – including whether or not to labor under the banner of union membership.

That’s why along with some flag waving, I’ve been celebrating the First Amendment, which protects your right to speak your mind, worship where you choose and associate with whom you wish.

It’s also why Kentucky needs a right-to-work law.

“The right to associate also inherently carries with it the right not to associate,” Brendan Cole, executive director of the Kentucky Right to Work Committee, said. “In the same way, right-to-work policies protect workers’ rights and freedoms concerning whether or not to join and otherwise support labor unions.”

The Court in its Harris ruling came close to fully implementing right-to-work protections for all government workers. It certainly left the door open for such a ruling in the future.

Lawmakers in Frankfort don’t need to wait on of black-robed justices in Washington to provide such freedom for public workers. They can, and should, move forward for all Kentucky workers – public and private – with the Bluegrass State’s own right-to-work policy.

Jim Waters is president of the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. Reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Read previously published columns at www.bipps.org.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 18,191.14
-97.49 (-0.53%)    
2 S&P 2,101.38
-16.01 (-0.76%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,961.97
-46.12 (-0.92%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 7970

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 7726

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 7516

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 7340

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6186

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 23, 2015 5341

Fire Departments Respond to Wester's Body Shop

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Shawn Freels

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 02, 2015 7970

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 2489

HCSO, MPD Join to Bust Alleged Drug Trafficking…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 02, 2015 2104

Officers Respond to Complaint of Drug Use; Arrest…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 1577

Job Fair Tomorrow in Madisonville

in Hopkins News by Kentucky Career Center
March 02, 2015 1470

UPDATE: Escapee Apprehended

in Top News For All Sites by Stu Recke
March 02, 2015 1337

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 2, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 02, 2015 1252

Locals Flock to Yoga for Unique Wellness Technique

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 02, 2015 1142

Dawson Springs Man Charged Multiple Offenses Plus…

in Hopkins News by Melissa Heflin
March 02, 2015 939

Two Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
March 02, 2015 867

Commission Approves Anton Road/Aubrey Prow Lane…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News