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Illinois vs Non-Union states. Midterm fun!

Would you open a business in Illinois where unions have you by the throat or in a South "right to work" state where workers actually get to decide if they want to belong to a union or not? Then again, Illinois has the additional benefit of high taxes, crime, great weather and good governance.

Shocking that Illinois is the only MW state losing population?

Ballot Measures and Ideological Sorting

Union victories offer reasons to leave Illinois and Massachusetts.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Nov. 11, 2022 4:56 pm ET

One election trend on Tuesday is that by and large blue states got bluer and red states redder. That was true with ballot measures as well as candidates, with a few fortunate exceptions.

One was California, where voters overwhelmingly voted down a measure (Prop. 30) raising the state’s top income tax rate to 15.05% on income above $2 million to subsidize electric vehicles. Prop. 30 was backed by ride-hailing company Lyft, the state Democratic Party and green groups. But Gov. Gavin Newsom opposed it, perhaps because teachers unions were angry the revenue wouldn’t go to schools.

On the other hand, voters in Massachusetts approved a union-backed measure to eliminate the state’s 5% flat tax and impose a top rate of 9% on earnings over $1 million. The measure had failed five times before but passed 52% to 48%. Governor-elect Maura Healey may need to build a border wall with New Hampshire, which doesn’t tax wage income, to keep millionaires from fleeing.

Illinois voters may have ensured their state continues its downward spiral by approving a union-backed measure that enshrines the right to collective bargaining in the state constitution. Amendment 1 has 58% support as we write this, though it needs at least 60% or more than 50% of all votes cast in the election to pass.

Unions deemed it a “workers’ right amendment,” though the real purpose was to make it harder for local governments to implement reforms by requiring most labor changes to be negotiated with unions. Now governments could be required to bargain over any subject that affects worker “economic welfare” such as housing subsidies and even taxes.

Public unions will pursue similar initiatives in other states to override right-to-work laws, such as Tennessee, where voters added right to work in the state constitution. Consider the left’s island-hopping ballot campaign in GOP-led states to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare to able-bodied adults earning up to 138% of the poverty line. South Dakota on Tuesday became the seventh to do so.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), however, suffered a setback in California, where voters overwhelmingly rejected for the third time a measure to impose costly mandates on dialysis clinics as punishment for their refusal to surrender to the union. The dialysis industry had to spend more than $80 million to defeat it. Maybe there should be a three-strikes rule for ballot measures.

Voters in California, Vermont and Michigan also amended their state constitutions to guarantee a nearly unrestricted right to abortion. Michigan’s measure will supercede a dormant 1931 law that banned abortion and which could have been triggered back into effect by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision this summer.

Kentucky voters also narrowly rejected a measure to amend their state constitution to ensure that it isn’t interpreted by courts to “secure or protect a right” to abortion. The Michigan and Kentucky results reinforce the lesson from this summer’s Kansas referendum that most voters support some access to abortion. Pro-life groups have work to do on public persuasion.

The crime issue cut the other way, at least in middle America. Nearly 80% of Ohio voters backed a state constitutional amendment that would require courts to consider public safety, the seriousness of an offense, a perpetrator’s criminal record and likelihood of returning to court when setting bail. Eighty percent of Alabama voters expanded the criminal charges for which bail could be denied.

Voters in Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota defeated measures to legalize pot for recreational use, though similar referenda passed overwhelmingly in Maryland and narrowly in Missouri. Voters in the latter states can now enjoy the smell of weed everywhere, like Americans in 19 states where the drug is currently legal.

The beauty of the U.S. federalist system is that the 50 states can experiment and learn from one another. While New Yorkers may have elected Kathy Hochul despite soaring crime and other problems, voters in other states have learned from New York’s progressive failures and don’t want to imitate them. The ballot results will contribute further to the geographical sorting that has heightened political polarization.

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