SEIU to Washington legislators: raise taxes or we’ll keep suing you

by Walter Olson on December 7, 2011

“Washington [the state] is getting hit with so many lawsuits over budget cuts that it’s not clear at times who controls the state’s purse strings: lawmakers or the court system. … Overall, the state has been sued more than a dozen times because of cuts lawmakers made in recent years to curtail state spending and balance the budget.” A spokesman for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the groups suing the state over cuts, describes program cuts as “violating people’s rights” and says the state should raise revenue if it doesn’t want to be sued. [Seattle Times] (& Bainbridge).

{ 9 comments }

1 Jason Barney 12.07.11 at 12:57 am

Adam Glickman of SEIU is a chump of a mouthpiece for the union. He claims the state is “violating people’s rights” by failing to raise taxes to provide free or lower cost benefits to disadvantaged groups. As sympathetic as those causes may be it’s not a “right” to compel other taxpayers to provide those benefits.

And the classic quote, “Everyone who gets cut off benefits is going to sue…What we’re doing in the budget now is like full employment for lawyers.”–Chairman Ross Hunter, D-Medina.

Washington voters have clearly mandated in the recent few elections they want smaller, more efficient government. That means cuts. If you litigate that issue, you are perverting the voters will and are doing so in your own self-interest.

2 Bob Lipton 12.07.11 at 7:41 am

Let’s tax unions!

Bob

3 Dave 12.07.11 at 9:22 am

I wonder, can Washington voters start a class-action against the SEIU?

4 doug 12.07.11 at 9:26 am

when the recall against the gov. of Wisconsin fails, this will be the next step.

5 John Burgess 12.07.11 at 9:38 am

I’m feeling nostalgic… I read this and think ‘tar & feathers’, a gentler response than ‘rope & tree branch’. But thieves are thieves, even when dressed in purple.

6 Anthony Gibbs 12.07.11 at 8:15 pm

Could it be that they are suing because the state is trying to cut pre-existing contractual obligations?

7 gitarcarver 12.08.11 at 4:17 pm

Anthony,

From the article:

….judge overruled state plans to limit Medicaid clients’ nonemergency visits to emergency rooms…

……. a federal judge said the state could not kick 11,000 people off a subsidized insurance program because of their immigration status…..

…… SEIU sued the state after the Legislature cut nonmedical assistance to disabled and elderly people on Medicaid by 10 percent…..

Sorry, but I fail to see any “pre-existing contractual obligations” in any of those suits. What it sounds more like is “we demand our space at the trough, even if the trough is empty or bankrupt.”

8 John David Galt 12.08.11 at 5:09 pm

It would be nice if our courts could declare the SEIU a vexatious litigant.

9 a_random_guy 12.12.11 at 11:54 am

“…a federal judge said…” Of course, there is no federal issue here – if the state has any guts, it will declare the ruling void for lack of jurisdiction.

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