MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota Republican lawmaker is getting in the middle of Wisconsin’s “right-to-work” debate.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he’ll sign the bill when it reaches his desk, which would make union membership voluntary.
A top Minnesota House Republican says Wisconsin’s right-to-work law is a terrible idea, and he’s contacting Badger State businesses to try to get them to move across the border to Minnesota.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, is chairman of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee, and he’s been watching the right-to-work union protests in Wisconsin.
He says he doesn’t have a problem with Walker curbing the power of public unions, but he says it’s wrong for Wisconsin’s government to inject itself between private companies and their workers — especially in construction trades and labor.
“‘Right-to-work’ is the government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. It’s the exact same thing when government’s taking too much money from businesses or setting up over-burdensome regulatory processes,” Garofalo said. “It’s very consistent. Government should leave these private sector businesses and their private sector contracts alone.”
Garofalo says he’s contacted the owners of several businesses in Wisconsin, and some of them have been receptive to moving across the border.
The Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader has made Republican Garofalo the poster child for what’s wrong in the Badger State.
“Minnesota is outperforming Wisconsin in terms of job creation, business climate and family income,” Wisconsin Sen. Jennifer Shilling said.
Minnesota Republicans have been very tough critics of their state’s business climate, but Garofalo says there is not a disconnect by his push to get Wisconsin businesses to move.
He says Minnesota taxes are too high and there are too many regulations, but the legislature is trying to change that.
But he goes against the Republican stereotype by opposing right-to-work bills, saying, “I’m a Republican who thinks.”