South Dakota and Minnesota are poised to join Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire and Indiana on the list of states in which the 2010 elections led to Republican politicians waging all-out war on unions and working people.
In Minnesota, Republicans are gearing up an attempt to put something they're calling the "Employee Freedom Act" on November's ballot as an amendment to the state constitution. In fact, it's basically a classic free rider bill—if you don't want to pay your fair share of the representation a union provides you in your workplace, you don't have to, but the union still has to represent you. This bill would join the anti-gay marriage amendment already slated for a November vote.
In South Dakota, Republicans are pushing a bill to eliminate collective bargaining for public workers. One of the bill's supporters in the Senate has withdrawn his support, saying "I'm not afraid to admit a mistake and to try and set it right," while another said he wouldn't fight too hard for it because "I don't have a real heartburn with collective bargaining." But the bill's sponsor in the House remains determined, despite a negative reception at a public discussion over the weekend.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, a Senate committee passed the House version of their anti-union bill, putting it on track for final passage and the governor's signature on Wednesday.