A chapter in the battle between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and that state's public employee unions ended Friday as the governor signed his controversial budget repair bill into law. But just one day earlier, AFL-CIO Leader Richard Trumka called for activists to use the "Wisconsin moment" as a rallying cry- and if state legislative dockets are any indication, the battle between cash-strapped state governments and unions could flare up in other states:
Indiana: When the Hoosier state legislature returns from its weekend recess on Monday, Republicans seeking to pass several measures limiting union influence may be faced with protests outside the statehouse, and empty seats inside. A bill that would limit teachers' collective bargaining rights has passed the state Senate, but has yet to pass the House, where Democrats have moved to prevent action on any proposals limiting workers' rights by leaving the state.
Ohio: Protestors in the capitol yelled "shame" as the state Senate narrowly passed Senate bill 5, a measure that would restrict collective bargaining rights for public employees like firefighters, police, and teachers. The House Commerce and Labor Committee is holding hearings on the bill, but Republican Governor Jon Kasich has said he supports the measure and expects it to pass. Democrats have warned that if the bill is successful, they will lead an effort to repeal it on state ballots.
Idaho: A bill that would limit teachers' collective bargaining rights passed the Republican-controlled House on Tuesday, followed the next day by a measure that would eliminate tenure. But while Republicans say the measures are part of a larger push for education reform, Democrats argue the measures target workers' rights.
Michigan: Republican Governor Rick Snyder has expressed support for a measure that would give emergency managers the authority to break union contracts in struggling cities and schools. Both chambers of the legislature have approved the bill, and is expected to go to the governor's desk for his signature soon. Facing a chronically slumping state economy, Snyder has also called for local authorities to cut public workers' benefits and wages when necessary to keep cities and counties afloat.
New Hampshire: Republican National Committeemen Steve Duprey has called for collective bargaining for public employees to come to an end, and several bills that would limit workers' rights have been proposed in the state legislature, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. But Democratic Governor John Lynch and New Hampshire's largest teachers' union have expressed distaste for any measures restricting collective bargaining.
Colorado: Five hundred union workers rallied at the state Capitol in February to call for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's resignation, but a bill pending before Colorado's own legislature would prohibit collective bargaining by government entities. According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, consideration for the bill has been postponed indefinitely.
Tennessee: Teachers flooded to the state Capitol in the rain this week to protest several proposals that would restrict union powers to negotiate working conditions, measures that Republicans say are aimed at education reform, not budget shortfalls.