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Right-to-Work Fate Appears Sealed in Kentucky General Assembly

All indications from Frankfort suggest Kentucky counties will continue to take the lead on right-to-work measures. 

A statewide right-to-work bill has cleared the Republican-led state Senate.  The measure prevents union membership and the payment of dues as a condition of employment in the public and private sectors.  However, the Democratic-controlled House has declared the bill dead-on-arrival. 

While views on right-to-work fall mostly along party lines in the General Assembly, Republicans and Democrats alike have been embracing ordinances on the county level.  In most cases, the votes have been unanimously. 

Supporters claim the absence of a right-to-work law is an obstacle to economic growth.  Opponents argue the laws are aimed at weakening unions.

Last month, Warren County became the first county in the nation to pass a right-to-work law.  Simpson, Fulton, and Todd counties followed suit, and Hardin County is expected to give final approval of a local measure next week. 

In the meantime, legal opinions differ on whether counties have the authority to pass such measures.  Court challenges are expected.