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By Carl Parker
For the Record 

What's in a Name


Last updated 3/13/2023 at 12:38pm

The common practice of senators and representatives is to give names to legislation they have introduced. Often a bill with a great sounding name has a better chance of passing than one without. Unfortunately, oft times as well, a name has little to do with the content of the bill.

We need to examine the words of proposed laws rather than simply accepting the name at face value. A good example is the long-lasting bill in Texas legislation which has been on the books many years. It has gained a lot of support in large measure because of its great sounding name.

A perfect example of how a name can affect acceptance of legislation is the so-called “Obama Healthcare Bill.” When polled the Obama Care measure received more negative comments than positive. However, when called by its actual name “The Affordable Care Act” the attitude switched to positive.

A long-time mis-named legislation in Texas is the so-called “Right to Work” legislation. Under federal law when a union by a vote has gained representation at a particular workforce, the union is obligated to represent all employees within the designated workforce, whether they belong to the union or not. The union is obligated to negotiate the same deals for non-union members as members in arbitration cases, defend them if they are wrongly discharged, discriminated against or even go to court for them at the union’s expense when and if necessary. It has been common for many years that some union contracts provide the union dues to be automatically deducted at payday, just like normal deductions. Under the Texas Right to Work Law, such a practice is illegal. Even though the Right to Work Law would be more appropriately called “the right to a free ride deal” it has the name on the books in Texas for years. In probability because its name has convinced many Texans that somehow it gives you a better opportunity to be employed.

As I have pointed out many times before, it is not necessarily easy to be a good citizen. Knowing what our elected representatives in our legislative body are doing, we as good citizens should not shirk.


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