Republicans in January will hold the most governorships and state houses since before the Great Depression. Many will expect them to produce now that they have control of state government.
Already in newly completely Republican-controlled states such as Missouri and Kentucky, their state governments are prepared to get to work on becoming the latest states to enact right to work legislation. Right to work legislation outlaws mandatory union fees as a condition to employment.
From the AP:
In Missouri, term-limited Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon previously vetoed a right-to-work measure passed by the Republican-led Legislature. But he’s being replaced Jan. 9 by Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, who promised to sign a right-to-work law. GOP legislative leaders have placed it atop their agenda. And their ranks are strengthened following a campaign season in which businessman David Humphreys poured more than $12 million into Missouri candidates and political committees that backed right-to-work.
“Oh, it’s going to happen,” said Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh, a retired union laborer who is president of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council. She added: “I’m not willing to lay down on it yet, but I’m also a realist.”
[…]Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin also hopes to sign a statewide right-to-work law in 2017, now that Republicans who already hold the Senate also have won control of the House for the first time in nearly a century. A dozen Kentucky counties already have passed local right-to-work laws.
Also on the agenda in Republican-controlled states is school choice. The Trump administration plans to make the expansion of school choice a top priority. The administration aims to spend $130 billion in federal and state money to expand school choice programs across the country.
Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos, who is the chairwoman of the American Federation of Children, a leading school choice advocacy group. They are targeting a dozen states in order to expand school choice options.
Other items that could be on the agenda for Republicans is tort reform in order to limit lawsuits on everything from product liability to workplace discrimination. There are also plans to cut taxes and business regulations.
Progressives have lately been touting the superiority of the so-called “Blue State Model.” The left claims that higher taxes on the wealthy, high rates of government spending, and high regulation of business is the key to prosperity. Conversely, they point to the fiscal problems in Republican-controlled Kansas and Louisiana as arguments against Republican governance.
But the blue state model has failed in many ways. People are moving out of these high tax and high regulation states. In the case of Illinois, this could have financially fatal consequences as the state heads toward bankruptcy.
Republicans have a chance to create a new Red State Model where they can prove that smaller government can lead to economic growth and a better quality of life for its residents. There will no better opportunity to get it right.