Good idea gets buried in state House committee

April 26, 2013 

State Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, has a sensible bill that would put the taxpayers' interests ahead of public employee unions. HB 1490 passed out of committee and made it through its second reading before the powers that be relegated it to the Rules Committee, the graveyard for many good ideas.

Still, the public needs to know what Kay is trying to do.

Arbitrators now consider a unit of government's ability to raise taxes or levy new ones when looking at unions' requests for raises. A classic example is an arbitrator's ruling in Benton. The arbitrator discussed at length what taxes or fees Benton could increase to pay for raises for street and water union employees. He even pointed out that many cities have a hotel-motel tax. Hint, hint.

Kay's bill would end that practice in hearings involving security employees, peace officers, firefighters or paramedics.

Elected leaders should get to determine the tax burden on their community and what the people can afford, not appointed arbitrators. HB 1490 deserves to be brought back to the full House for a vote.

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