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Will Wisconsin businesses flock to Minnesota after right-to-work bill signed?


On Monday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law that prevents unions from requiring their workers to pay dues or fees.

Minnesota's eastern neighbor became the 25th state in the union to enact a right-to-work law, as it's called, the New York Times reports. Similar policies have been implemented across the country in recent decades, but it's only recently taken hold in the Midwest; Indiana and Michigan were among the first in the region.

Walker, a Republican, said the bill gives workers more choice, letting them decide whether to join a union; and also makes Wisconsin a "compelling" destination for businesses.

But the bill has been criticized as anti-worker, and potentially harmful to businesses who have good relationships with unions.

So how could this affect Minnesota, exactly? It's all about the business climate.

Minnesota Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo said the new law would "negatively impact" the companies and unions.

And then he laid out the welcome mat, suggesting these unhappy companies move to Minnesota – where no right-to-work laws exist. He even wrote to two of them.

“Minnesota’s construction industry is among the most efficient and productive in the nation, and I welcome the opportunity to bring these headquarters to Minnesota,” he said.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, according to Forum News Service, says he won't be actively recruiting Wisconsin businesses now.

But one of the companies Garofolo wrote to, Hoffman Construction Co., is planning on doubling the size of his current business in Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports. The owner cited the potential cost of the right-to-work law, and Minnesota's transportation investments as the main reasons.

It does depend on whether Hoffman wins bidding on some contracts however, the Pioneer Press noted.

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