A Survey Indicates Alaskans Don't Want the PRO Act and Lisa Murkowski Better Listen

(Amelia Milling via AP)

As my colleague Bonchie explained so well, thanks to the Senate Parliamentarian doing their job, the Democrat’s sweeping agenda of H.R. 1, the PRO Act and even the Infrastructure Bill looks to be coming to a screeching halt. With West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D-Bulwark) and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Stands With a Fist) holding tough on maintaining the filibuster and not voting on garbage that would harm their constituents, our economy, our livelihoods, and the integrity of the voting process just might be saved for future generations.

I don’t count the Democrats out with their ability to pull dirty tricks, but what all of this push back and resistance to their progressive agenda has allowed is for the truth about these bills to be fully investigated, and people in every state to weigh in with their Senators. The true independent professionals (rather than those who play act at it) have been very vocal in expressing their displeasure with the PRO Act.

According to this opinion writer, many Alaskans have weighed in via recent poll. The PRO Act has been weighed in the balance, and found wanting.

Alaskans have always had an independent, pioneering spirit. It is no surprise then, that a recent poll commissioned by the Alaska Chamber, Alaska Trucking Association, Alaska Support Industry Alliance and the Associated General Contractors of Alaska found, by a 3-to-1 margin, Alaskans prefer the right to work for themselves when, where and for whom they want. A new law under consideration by the U.S. Senate, the “Protecting the Right to Organize” Act or PRO Act, would limit not only Alaskans’ work choices but also our businesses’ ability to adapt.

Unlike the Lower 48, Alaska does not seem to have huge populations centers that try to push their values, viewpoints, and working habits on the rest of their State. They also do not seem to disregard certain people groups and portions of their state and deem them useless—until they’re not.

While Alaska has a huge union population, and they are working really hard to convince fellow Alaskans that the PRO Act is what the state truly needs, as the writer said, Alaskans seem to value independence. So unlike other states, unions wholesale dictating government policy is not the regular course of events.

So the guy who hunts, fishes, and maintains a large business that allows others to do the same, is just as important as the schoolteacher, or person who owns and runs lodging, or the person who sits in front of their computer. It is one of the few states where independence and a pioneering spirit is considered normal, and is encouraged, rather than treated as a disease to be rooted out and destroyed.

Looking at you, California.

Speaking of that…

While supporters of the PRO Act claim it is a tool to support workers, its provisions deprive workers of fundamental rights, significantly reduces workers’ options to choose independent contract work, and increases costs on small businesses by requiring them to hire full-time staff at a time when many are trying to get back on their feet.

One of the most concerning elements of the PRO Act is the inclusion of a more restrictive form of the “ABC” test, which is used to determine if someone should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor. California included this “ABC” test in their disastrous 2019 “Assembly Bill 5” only to find it prevented everyone from teachers to writers to retirees from working as independent contractors. To date, California has passed dozens of “exemptions’” to the bill and they are still going.

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-Gordita) and her ilk hardest hit. She and her fellow travelers have done more in the State of California to destroy small business and independent contracting, enabled by a narcissistic governor. We’re working hard to get rid of them both.

Give us time.

Our poll found Alaskans don’t want to repeat California’s mistakes around independent contractors. When Alaskans learned more about how the PRO Act would drastically alter current federal labor laws and significantly affect who was able to be an independent contractor in Alaska, more than 60% of Alaskans opposed the bill. This was true even among current union members who opposed the PRO Act by 57% after learning about its provisions.

Interesting. This highlights the disconnect between actual union members, and the highly paid union organizers, activists, and bosses who want the PRO Act on a silver platter. Union members understand that forcing everyone into a union, and making every place a union shop, will not only limit the number of opportunities available to them, but may cost them their job.

California has led the way… in the law of unintended consequences. Remember all those Vox, Vice, and Refinery 29 writers who got laid off once AB5 was signed into law?

We do.

What’s more, 85% of Alaskans agreed that it was important they be able to choose to work as independent contractors. More than 80% believe federal laws should continue to protect the rights of Alaskans to work as independent contractors.

Alaska’s federal representatives should take heed: Alaska’s workers don’t want new mandates or classifications. Instead, they overwhelmingly want to preserve their choice to be independent contractors and work when and for whom they choose.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-In Trouble) is leading a delegation on a tour across her state, and is hearing first-hand what Alaskans want, or don’t, from the federal government.

The Senator has come out against H.R. 1, and has expressed her disappointment over the suspension of oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Hopefully she is listening to Alaskans voices on the PRO Act. If not, I’m sure her Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka certainly will.