TOPEKA — Labor attorney Jake Miller warned legislation characterized by a network of conservative think tanks as sound bookkeeping to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling was actually a political overreach intended to deter participation in public employee unions in Kansas.
“To me, this is a waste of the committee’s time,” said Miller, who represents Working Kansas Alliance and practices labor law in Kansas City, Missouri. “Remember you’re going after cops, firefighters, corrections officers, electrical workers, snowplow drivers and everyone else.”
He told the House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee there was no legitimacy to arguments by the Kansas Policy Institute, Illinois Policy Institute, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Americans for Prosperity-Kansas and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce that the 2021 Legislature had to pass a law in response to Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. That 2018 ruling prohibited public-sector unions from requiring payment of fees by workers who weren’t union members, but were beneficiaries of union representation in terms of working conditions and compensation.