Truth in Accounting includes a “Right to Work” variable in our State Data Lab website. It identifies states characterized as “Right To Work” by the National Right To Work Legal Foundation.
This week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus vs. AFSCME case will force us to update our database. Now we have to switch all the identifiers to “Right To Work.”
It is still valuable to look at the differences between “Right-To-Work” states and those that were not, at least before the Supreme Court decision. For example, Truth In Accounting’s “Taxpayer Burden” measure of state government finances runs four times as high in the 20 states that are not in the “Right To Work” bucket, on average, compared to the average for the 28 “Right To Work” states (we exclude Alaska and Hawaii for this comparison).
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority decision in the Janus case. He cited Illinois’ high unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations in his reasoning. Curiously, his latest data came from The Pew Charitable Trusts, and was only for 2013.
He could have looked at our State Data Lab for the latest available data (2017).