Progressive-extremists are once again advancing a false narrative: This time suggesting that Rhode Island employers are discriminatory and bigoted in their compensatory practices based on the gender pay equity myth.

Legislation Based on Gender Pay Equity Myth Named “Bad Bill of the Week”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2018

Existing Laws, Good Employers Already Fairly Compensate Workers

Progressives promote yet another make-believe narrative.
Fewer women could end-up being hired.
#Unfair2Employers

Providence, RI– Progressive-extremists are once again advancing a false narrative: This time suggesting that Rhode Island employers are discriminatory and bigoted in their compensatory practices.

The divisive legislation, H7427 and S2475, would lead to undue legal dangers for job-producers by creating vague new mandates for how employers should determine wages for workers, has been named the Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, which has long advocated against unnecessarily worsening the already hostile business climate in the Ocean State.

The so-called “Fair Employment Practices” legislation, in seeking to address a problem that does not actually exist, is actually #Unfair2Employers. Supporters, who have put forth no evidence that existing laws are inadequate, pretend their concerns are about ‘gender pay equity’; but the legislation would actually define multiple politically-correct new classes of potential victims as well as severe new penalties on companies.

The proposed language would also blur the current law’s clear definition of equal pay for “equal work” on the “same operations” … to a much more vague concept of equal pay for “comparable work” under “similar conditions” … likely spurring frivolous lawsuits by employees against employers.

“Businesses are at the tipping point – and jobs are at stake – if our state imposes more burdens and legal peril on the private sector. This progressive vision of equal outcomes for everyone could actually backfire, as businesses may end up hiring fewer women to avoid legal action,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Incredibly, this legislation assumes the guilt of hard-working employers in our state; it is a dream-come-true for law-suit minded lawyers, but will be a nightmare for the business community.”

The Center’s post also includes a video commentary from Stenhouse as well as a link to a Prager U. video that discusses U.S. Department of Labor data, which debunks the 77 cents on the dollar gender-wage-gap myth.

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.

Just because it conforms with politically-correct hysteria, does not make it good public policy. Case in point, the poorly-thought-out proposed cigarette tax.

Politically-Correct Cigarette Tax Named “Bad Bill of the Week”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2018

Politically-Correct Cigarette Tax Denies Reality of Unintended Consequences

Would impose further financial burdens on low-income families, while harming retailers and fueling an under-ground economy

Providence, RI– Just because it conforms with politically-correct hysteria, does not make it good public policy. Case in point, the poorly-thought-out proposed cigarette tax.

The legislation, which would again raise state taxes on cigarettes (to $4.50/pack), as proposed in Article-4 of the Governor’s proposed 2019 budget, has been named the Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, which has long advocated for lower overall sales and excise taxes.

The Center’s full post, which includes a video commentary, points-out many real-life drawbacks to the tax-hike, including:

  • the “regressive” nature of the tax, which will disproportionately harm low-income families
  • the loss of retail and convenience store sales to other states and to the underground economy, costing jobs and tax revenues to our state
  • the history of uncertain state revenue receipts from the higher tax

“Understandably, many people have strong beliefs about tobacco related products. But pretending that there are no unintended consequences to this anti-personal-choice and anti-commerce legislation, the progressive-left is committed to limiting or denying the right for consumers to buy ‘legal’ products, despite negative economic impacts and potential harm-reduction benefits,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO, who recently penned a Providence Journal oped on the topic. “General Assembly lawmakers still have time to put some real thought into this.”

The post also points-out that other proposed taxes on vaping products would provide a disincentive for a 95% less-harmful lifestyle for smokers seeking to quit the habit.

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.

Progressive lawmakers are once again seeking to hand out “free stuff”, this time to wealthy-out of staters, in a misguided attempt to bribe them to move to Rhode Island. The legislation, House bill H8018 is an extension of the state’s failed corporate welfare strategy.

Ignorant $10K-Pays-the-Way-to-RI Bill Named “Bad Bill of the Week”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2018

Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week: Paying Families to Move to Rhode Island

Progressive’s Ignorant, Government-Centric Mindset Will Continue to Doom the Ocean State

Providence, RI –– Progressive lawmakers are once again seeking to hand out “free stuff,” this time to wealthy-out of staters, in a misguided attempt to bribe them to move to Rhode Island in order to save the state from losing one of its two prized U.S. House Congressional seats.

The legislation, House bill H8018, has been named the Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, and is an individual-level extension of the failed mindset behind our state’s corporate welfare strategy.

“If we have to pay families, students, and businesses to move to or remain in Rhode Island, to survive our state’s oppressive tax and regulatory climate, then our state is already doomed,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Worse than the obvious face-value inanity of the bill, the ignorant belief of how an economy and family dynamics actually work is what is most troubling. The legislation openly acknowledges the negative economy in our state, yet, as with other progressive policies, it tries to band-aid the symptom rather than cure the core illness.

The Center’s full post describes the many ‘make believe’ assumptions underlying the legislation, which could cost families and businesses up to $300 million:

    • That the real solution to RI’s economic and population stagnation are not staring lawmakers directly in the face …
    • That families want to be dependent on government programs …
    • That this “wealthy-welfare” scheme. like the state’s corporate-welfare strategy, is fair, and will improve overall economic conditions …
    • That RI’s population will actually increase …

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.

The legislative onslaught by insider protectionists continues, this time seeking to ban a promising area of technological innovation of ocular telemedicine in order to block competition.

Center Names “Ocular Tele-medicine” ban as Progressive Bad Bill of the Week; Rips Senator for Dismissing Testimony in new VIDEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2018

Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week: Protectionist ‘Ocular Telemedicine’ Ban

Progressive Committee Chairman “Dismisses” Testimony of Conservative Nonprofit CEO!

Providence, RI — The legislative onslaught by insider protectionists continues, this time seeking to ban a promising area of technological innovation that blocks competition.

Tabbed as the “Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bills of the Week”  in a new post by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, H7608 and S2404 would impose a virtual ban on the emerging industry of tele-medicine; specifically on online ocular tests for lens prescription refills that can save consumers time and money, and that could reduce Medicaid costs.

Even more troubling, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, Joshua Miller, who oversaw last Thursday’s hearing on the legislation, said, after interrupting the testimony multiple times, that he would “dismiss” the testimony of the Center’s Mike Stenhouse. “It is a common tactic of progressives like Senator Miller to seek to shut down open and honest debate from those they disagree with, by pretending that their views, and only their views, merit discussion,” said the Center’s CEO.

GoLocalProv.com broke the story over the weekend of the disturbing behavior of the Senator, who was also criticized in the article by Common Cause RI.

See Stenhouse’s video commentary on the legislation here.

See the video of Stenhouse’s actual committee testimony – and multiple interruptions – here.

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.

Once again unions are pushing for legislation that would give them even more leverage when it comes to negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements for government workers. House bills 7198, 7633, and 7634 would grant all or some public employee unions underhanded perpetual contracts.

NEW VIDEO: “Perpetual Contracts” legislation named the Progressive Bad Bill of the Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2018

Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Week: Perpetual Contracts 
Are union-progressives seeking to evade the expected US Supreme Court ruling?

Providence, RI — The legislative onslaught continues by progressive-Democrats against taxpayers and, now, against union workers. Once again, labor unions are pushing for perpetual contracts as an overt money grab, even as the US Supreme Court may soon rule against them.

Tabbed as the “Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bills of the Weekin a new post by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, three related bills, H7198, H7633, and H7634, would give unions an unfair negotiating advantage when it comes to Collective Bargaining Agreements for government workers. Worse, there may be an even more devious motive behind these bills, even though similar legislation was vetoed by the Governor in 2017.

The Center suggests, if passed, this legislation could potentially subvert the expected June 2018 landmark ruling in the Mark Janus vs AFSCME case, which was heard by the Supreme Court Justices in late February.

Under one likely Supreme Court ruling scenario against unions, and with the goal of lessening the immediate financial impact on unions, the Justices may allow for forced dues and fees to continue to be collected for those government workers under an existing collective bargaining contract. And that such employees could exercise their newly-granted freedom to opt-out only after those existing contracts expire. But if Rhode Island’s state and municipal contracts are “perpetual” – and could never automatically expire – then Rhode Island public employees might never have the chance to opt out.

“Not only are union bosses desperate to keep their political coffers and their personal compensation packages well funded, but they may be seeking to actively deny workers new freedoms that may be granted to them by the Supreme Court,” warned the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “We call on the Governor to once again exercise her veto powers.”

In recent years, government worker unions and progressives have banded together to promote centralized-government-control and a high tax political environment. These three bad bills are the result of this powerful union-progressive partnership.

For decades, unions and their political cronies in statehouses across the country have seemingly found every possible way to extract money from taxpayers – as well as their own members – so that their financial and political power can be maintained.

“At a higher level, in this fantasy world of perpetual contracts, unions would never have to bargain in good faith, even in the worst of possible economic times, as they would be able to just sit back and continue to reap in their overly-generous benefits,” added Stenhouse. “In the real world, your local taxes could never ever go down.”

Stenhouse’s related Youtube blog can also be viewed on the post.

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.

State net neutrality legislation would result in Rhode Island consumers being left fewer choices, higher prices, and deteriorating service. The Center has named Net Neutrality proposals the Progressive Bad Bills Of The Week.

NEW VIDEO: “Net Neutrality” legislation named the Progressive Bad Bill of the Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2018

Progressive Net Neutrality Bills Seek to Remedy Problems that Don’t Exist

Government control over the Internet would lead to fewer choices and higher prices for Internet users

Providence, RI — The legislative onslaught by progressive-Democrats against free-markets continues. This time, they are pushing for government control of yet another important aspect of the lives of Rhode Islanders – the Internet – via new proposed “net neutrality” mandates. State net neutrality laws would result in Rhode Island consumers being left fewer choices, higher prices, and deteriorating service. The Center predicts, if passed, this legislation could also trigger costly “interstate commerce” lawsuits.

Tabbed as the “Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Weekin a new post by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, two related bills, S2008 and H7422, would put unnecessary regulations on Internet Service Providers in Rhode Island.

In the real world, free-market forces, not overly burdensome government regulations, are the best way to ensure ISPs do not harm consumers and do not engage in anticompetitive behavior.


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“The proper role of state and federal governments should be to deter fraud, enforce contracts, and arbitrate disputes. Clear, consistent, and limited government maximizes innovation and competition,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “Reliable internet access encourages and accelerates economic growth and development. New government mandates will likely lead to costly litigation because the internet is inherently interstate commerce.”

Stenhouse’s new Youtube interview with Katie McAuliffe of Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, can also be viewed on the post.

The bills, sponsored by Senators Jeanine Calkin and Gayle Goldin, and Representatives Aaron Regunberg and Deb Ruggiero among others, would reimpose unnecessary regulations on Internet Service Providers in Rhode Island, in response to the federal government’s repeal of similar regulations in 2017. The bills would also prohibit state and local governments from purchasing any broadband or internet service from any service provider who does not comply with now defunct federal net neutrality principles.

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.

House Bill H7150 is the epitome of how the irrational emotions of the progressive-left are now finding their way into actual legislation and how they are attempting to legislate morality. This discrimination bill would criminalize anti-political correctness.

MEDIA RELEASE: Center derides “school discrimination” legislation as the Progressive Bad Bill of the Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 12, 2018

Poorly Written Bill Leaves Serious Issue of Discrimination to Make Believe Judgments

2nd grader play could be criminalized by those who anoint themselves as judge and jury

Providence, RI — The legislative onslaught by progressive-Democrats continues, this time using school children in a dangerous attempt to enshrine their non-mainstream values on society.

Tabbed as the “Progressive Land of Make Believe Bad Bill of the Weekin a post this weekend by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, H7150, which will be heard in committee this Wednesday, is a poorly written bill that would likely cause nothing but harm by further dividing the educational community.

In attempting to impose their elitist and politically-correct view of morality on the state’s entire school system, the vaguely worded bill, deceptively entitled the “Health and Safety of Pupils”, avers that no student should be discriminated against for a number of politically-correct and other defined reasons.

“The bill makes no attempt to contemplate what real discrimination might consist of, by who, and what the consequence might be,” claimed the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “It is unnecessary and it is pure pandering to their base. It is divisive and it is dangerous to pretend to be able to interpret and control people’s thoughts and intentions, especially when they anoint themselves as judge and jury.” Stenhouse’s video commentary on the bill can also be viewed on the post.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Grace Diaz and Aaron Regunberg among others, is a direct affront to social conservatives and has outraged the religious community. Such groups, who are organizing a presence at the House Committee on Health, Education & Welfare hearing, claim the bill seeks to put “transgender affirmation into law.”

Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.