When Minnesota lawmakers sought a right-to-work measure they turned to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Model language, drafted in 2007 by Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, was used for a pair of Minnesota right-to-work proposals.

Under a right-to-work law, employees who are not union members cannot be required to pay union dues.

Minnesota's Republican-controlled Legislature is debating a potential right-to-work ballot proposal for November. Republicans hold a 37-30 edge in the Minnesota Senate and a 72-62 advantage in the House.

“I went to the Mackinac Center website and then I talked with him (Wright) on the phone. I think that was either in late 2010 or early 2011.” Minnesota Rep, Steve Drazkowski, R- Mazeppa, told Capitol Confidential. “We used it (Wright's language) for my legislation and the Senate legislation is the same as mine.”

Senate File 1705 has been passed in one committee on a slim 7-6 vote.

Under the Minnesota legislative process, the measure now moves to another committee.

“It has been difficult,” Rep. Drazkowski said about getting the legislation passed. “But we are making some progress.”

To be placed on the ballot, either bill would have to be passed by both the Minnesota House and Senate by simple majority votes. In contrast, for the Legislature to put a proposal on the ballot in Michigan, two-thirds super-majority votes are required in both the House and Senate.

Union protesters are turning out at the Minnesota Capitol building for each step in the process. The unions are already targeting six Republican senators over the issue.

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See also:

Michigan Capitol Confidential Coverage of Right-to-Work

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