Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House, I rise in support of LD 831.Several of my colleagues have been talking about how Right to Work is just the right thing to do,and I agree with them.
But it’s also the case that, as with so many other
things, more freedom leads to greater prosperity.
I think it’s telling that, in the over 65 years since the Taft
-Hartley Act was passed specificallyauthorizing states to pass Right to Work, no state with a Right to Work law in effect for allworkers has ever been repealed.
That’s because Right to Work laws just work.
And that’s as true as ever now.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2002 and 2012, private-sector job growthwas at 6.4% in Right to Work states, but just 0.4% in non-Right to Work states.Maine saw -1.4% job growth during that same period.And this prosperity reaches people at all levels economically.
That’s a reason why Right to Work states see nearly 50% fewer welfare recipients per capita,
while per-capita income in Right to Work states is over $6000 higher than it is in Maine whencost of living is accounted for.Some might wonder why this is.Well just last December, a national survey of site selection consultants by Site SelectionMagazine found that half of companies considering relocation or expansion automatically rule
out states that don’t have Right to Work laws.
Why would Maine want to cross itself off the list for all those jobs? Folks, we can’t control our geography, we can’t control our aging population
and energy costs are proving tough to rein in, but we can control this!
The fact is, we’re losing the next generation.
Over the last decade, Maine’s seen a 7% drop in the number of young workers between 25 and
34.Meanwhile, Right to Work states saw a rise of 11% of young workers coming in.The lack of young, skilled workers threatens the long-term health of our economy: without agood workforce, things will become even worse for attracting new investment.