WASHINGTON — With state governments across the country struggling to balance budgets and fund basic services over the demands of big government unions, the Competitive Enterprise Institute , in partnership with Crossroads GPS , has launched the Big Labor vs. Taxpayers Index  – a tool to empower citizens to challenge these unions’ oversized political clout.
Using 1,150 data points, the index ranks each state in 23 different categories to determine where government union lobbyists have maximum sway over policymakers, and where the fiscal concerns of taxpayers are most strongly represented.
The initiative’s interactive map allows citizens to easily navigate the data and find information about government employee union activity in their states. The entire index can be viewed at CEI's labor policy website, WorkplaceChoice.org .
“For too long, government unions have driven up spending and debt to maximize their power at taxpayers’ expense,” said Crossroads GPS President Steven Law. “Now a new generation of governors is taking on the government labor leviathan, and we want to equip citizens to join that fight.”
CEI’s Labor Policy Counsel F. Vincent Vernuccio remarked, “The index is an excellent way for citizens across the country to see if their political leaders prioritize fiscal responsibility or the interests of Big Labor. After a preview of the index at the State Policy Network Conference in Seattle last week, think tanks and policy makers across the country are sharing ideas about how to improve their states’ rankings. The Big Labor vs. Taxpayer Index is already proving to be a vehicle for positive change.”
Legislatures and governors face a daunting challenge in balancing the rights of taxpayers against the demands of powerful government employee unions. In many states, unions have successfully lobbied for legislation that protects union benefits--to the detriment of taxpayers. However, some states are fighting back.
For inquiries on the index, contact CEI Labor Policy Counsel F. Vincent Vernuccio at Vvernuccio@cei.org  or 202-331-1010.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. Crossroads GPS is a policy and grassroots advocacy organization that is committed to educating, equipping and mobilizing millions of American citizens to take action on the critical economic and legislative issues that will shape our nation’s future in the years ahead.