Legal Basis for the Teachers’ Health Care Board: Solid as Fissured Bedrock
Under Marc’s post, Roland observes
anyone in office will and can make mistakes but it’s important to catch them before they’re carved in stone such as [Rep John] Loughlin catching himself
Indeed. This is an approach that needs to be extended to the newly legislated teachers’ health insurance board.
Every legislator who voted to override the veto of the bill to consolidate teacher health care coverage into the hands of organized labor – oh, sorry, into the hands of a twelve person panel consisting of ten people who will directly benefit from a maintenance of or increase in benefits – needs to catch their mistake and remove this new law from the books.
Assembly members should do this for their own sake as much as taxpayers’ as this law has at least two fatal flaws. The first is the matter of constitutionality; try though he might, Andrew was unable to find a home for the board in the Rhode Island constitution. The second is that it violates the laws that clearly delegate school budgets and teacher contracts to local school committees and the amount of school funding to city and town councils. … wait, make that three flaws: those who mandate these benefits will directly benefit from them. (Act now before the list gets even longer!)
These flaws are so blatant that even our most labor-sympathetic judges will see them.
Accordingly, when this law is struck off the books by various courts, any legislator who voted to override the veto of this bill will look foolish and incompetent. Better to get ahead of the curve and correct the error before it is carved in constitutionally-faulty stone.