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Binding arbitration bill dies in the House

July 1, 2011

As predicted here earlier today, the hotly contested binding arbitration bill has died in the House — in the grip of the ever-popular “held for further study” — after being passed yesterday by the Senate Labor Committee and Senate. Speaker Gordon Fox released the following statement:

“Binding arbitration is a very complicated issue. I talked with many of our House members who feel they need more information and time, so therefore I will not put a vote before them in this session. We will continue to look closely at this issue in the off-session.”

The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, which held a State House rally Wednesday to oppose binding arbitration, offered this reaction:

RISC commends House Speaker Gordon Fox and members of the House who refused to offer support for binding arbitration legislation in the final hours of the session Thursday night, rendering the bill dead for this year.

“We commend Speaker Fox for giving the legislation the burial it deserves in the final hours of the session but we also recognize the 17 senators who truly began the momentum to kill this bill with their courageous vote against in on the Senate floor Wednesday,” states RISC Executive Director Harriet Lloyd.

RISC also applauds the citizen activists who played a large role in pressing lawmakers to reject the legislation, through placing hundreds of emails and calls and from joining with RISC at a news conference and rally at the Statehouse Wednesday.

The Moderate Party’s Ken Block has this:

Thank you to everyone who emailed and called the State House in the last 3 days.  Your efforts have clearly made a difference.

More than a thousand emails were sent through the Moderate Party’s servers by you in opposition to binding arbitration alone.

Well done, but stay vigilant.

The defeat of binding arb marks a second significant blow to labor, following the elimination of new longevity payments for public employees.

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