The Arizona Court of Appeals made a unanimous common sense ruling on Tuesday telling public sector unions that fleecing taxpayers is unacceptable.
“Today the Arizona appeals court ruled that cities can’t spend taxpayer money and get nothing in return,” said Goldwater Institute vice president Clint Bolick. “Hopefully this will put an end, once and for all, to this huge and widespread taxpayer scam.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported on the ruling:
The Goldwater Institute, a state-based free market think tank, brought the suit challenging the arrangement between the city of Phoenix and the PLEA, arguing that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for union services.
The association’s deal mandated nearly 2,000 hours of release time for six police officers to perform union duties, rather than those of a police officer. Release time cost the city nearly $2 million over a two-year period, according to the ruling.
A lower court had ruled that the release time arrangement violated the state constitution because it enriched a private entity at the taxpayer expense. The appeals court upheld the ruling. Bolick said the matter extended past the constitutional questions into the realm of safety because union organizers tried to pit law enforcement against taxpayers during budget negotiations.
“Not only were taxpayers being forced to fund private labor union activity, it was activity that was purposely aimed at undermining the safety of Phoenix residents and the operations of the police department. That’s not only illegal, it’s outrageous,” Bolick said in the release.
Other suits are being brought nationwide to fight the scam, according to the Beacon.
The Arizona court’s decision is a good start.