On Monday, November 27, 2019 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam told his revenue advisory council that he is not in favor of repealing Virginia’s right-to-work law which prohibits compulsory union membership.
With Democrats attaining a trifecta in the General Assembly for the first time in since 1993, Northam has made efforts to assuage Virginia business leaders that he won’t go radically leftist on a wedge issue in the traditionally pro-business state
“I can’t foresee Virginia taking actions [that would include] repeal of the right-to-work law,” he told the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates.
According to its right-to-work law, joining a union may not be a condition for employment in Virginia. Back in 2016, Virginia voters rejected an initiative to put the law’s provision in the state constitution.
Outgoing Republican Delegate and House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones praised Northam’s statement: “It was a very good move to reassure the engine that’s driving our economy.”
The communications director of the Virginia AFL-CIO, Destiny LeVere said that the organization was in a state of “deep disappointment” with the governor’s statements.
LeVere said in a statement, “Being named 1st for business and 51st overall for workers isn’t something Virginia should be proud of.”
She added “This General Assembly session, workers will be joining together to ensure that there will be a robust, pro-labor agenda that values Virginia’s workers, putting us at the forefront. Number one on this agenda is repealing right-to-work.”
Democratic Delegate Lee Carter declared on Twitter that he will introduce legislation again that would repeal Virginia’s right-to-work law, despite Northam’s unwillingness to repeal it. The GOP majority in the House let Carter’s bill languish in the bill in the Commerce and Labor Committee.
“Opposition doesn’t stop me from putting in good bills. And repealing RTW is a good bill,” Carter tweeted. “I’m gonna introduce it, and I’m gonna fight like hell to get it to the Governor’s desk. And if he vetoes it, he’ll be the one who has to own that.”
Opposition doesn't stop me from putting in good bills. And repealing R2W is a good bill.
I'm gonna introduce it, and I'm gonna fight like hell to get it to the Governor's desk. And if he vetoes it, he'll be the one who has to own that.https://t.co/LhU0QLD4os
— Lee J. Carter (@carterforva) November 25, 2019
Despite the state’s leftward shift, Virginia remains one of the most pro-business states in the country.
Liberty conservatives can breathe a sigh of relief for a brief moment knowing that Northam won’t prioritize repealing pro-worker legislation such as right-to-work.
Nevertheless, vigilance should not be discarded.
On gun issues, however, Northam poses a major threat now that he has solid majorities.
In that regard, liberty conservatives must be prepared to fight back against his anti-gun plots.