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Senate Proceeding 05-13-08 on May 13th, 2008 :: 2:26:23 to 2:34:21
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Mike DeWine

2:21:07 to 2:26:23( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine

2:26:02 to 2:26:23( Edit History Discussion )

Mike DeWine: are being suggested will be voted on and passed or even better yet accepted. i think that some of them are worthy of having that done. so, with that, i would yield the flooroo and reserve the right to

Susan Collins

2:26:23 to 2:26:40( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: speak again. the presiding officer: the ic senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise in support of the public be safety employer-employee cooperation act. i've

Susan Collins

2:26:23 to 2:34:21( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Susan Collins

Susan Collins

2:26:40 to 2:26:59( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: been a cosponsor of this legislation in previous congresses, and i'm pleased that the bill which i first joined several years in cosponsoring, is finally coming to the senate floor. this bill would

Susan Collins

2:26:59 to 2:27:16( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: ensure that the people we most count on to protect and serve the public -- our firefighters, our police officers, our emergency medical personnel, and other first responders -- can exercise their rights

Susan Collins

2:27:16 to 2:27:32( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: to organize and bargain collectively with their employers. currently 20 american states do not effectively provide for this right, despite the fact that it applies across nearly every other area of the american

Susan Collins

2:27:32 to 2:27:49( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: economy. all first responders should have an effective process to address job issues and practices with the state and local governments that they serve. now, mr. president, some have argued that this

Susan Collins

2:27:49 to 2:28:07( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: bill interferes with the proper authority of states and municipalities, but in fact the bill simply requires states to allow public safety officers to bargain over wages, hours, and working conditions. my

Susan Collins

2:28:07 to 2:28:22( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: state of maine has a very similar law in place already. this bill does not in any way dictate outcomes of this process. it gives state -- not n federal -- courts the authority to enforce contract rights

Susan Collins

2:28:22 to 2:28:40( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that arise from collective bargaining. i also want be to emphasize that the bill does not authorize actions that might threaten public safety. in fact, it prohibits both strikes and walkouts. further,

Susan Collins

2:28:40 to 2:28:57( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: it does not interfere with any existing collective bargaining agreements, nor does it impinge upon any area traditionally reservedio to management decisionmaking. mr. president, i heard some of my colleagues say

Susan Collins

2:28:57 to 2:29:14( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that this bill will somehow harm the volunteer firefighters that are so important in rural states like mine and in the presiding officer's state.~ i think it's important, mr. president, that we

Susan Collins

2:29:14 to 2:29:35( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: spell out why that is not the case. in fact, there is no collective bargaining established by this bill for volunteers, for volunteer fire departments. this is a bill about collective bargaining rights

Susan Collins

2:29:35 to 2:29:52( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: of employees who are paid for their work. lunteers, by definition, are not employees.es any suggestion that cities and towns are going to be required to bargain with and possibly pay their volunteer

Susan Collins

2:29:52 to 2:30:08( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: firefighters is simply wrong. volunteers are expressly not covered by this bill and will have no right to collective bargaining. all volunteer departmentsts would have no bargaining obligations. furthermore,

Susan Collins

2:30:08 to 2:30:26( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: mr. president, professional firefighters would still be encouraged to volunteer. i'm really touched by the fact that some of the professional firefighters in my town act as volunteer firefighters for their

Susan Collins

2:30:26 to 2:30:43( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: hometowns. they may be employed by a larger city of maine like banger, louiston or portland, but they may live in a very small town outside of the city where they volunteer on the all-volunteer firefighting

Susan Collins

2:30:43 to 2:31:01( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: force. there's nothing in bill that discourages anyone from serving as a volunteer firefighter. in many towns, as i mentioned, volunteer firefighters are actually professional firefighters who volunteer

Susan Collins

2:31:01 to 2:31:17( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: during their off-duty hours. our legislation preserves that kind of relationship by actually prohib iting states from putting limits on professional firefighters who want t volunteer during their off-duty

Susan Collins

2:31:17 to 2:31:34( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: hours. this bill addresses concerns that were raised by some of the volunteer firefighters because the protections in the house passed bill weren't clear enough. the senate version of this bill

Susan Collins

2:31:34 to 2:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: will dispel any ambiguity in the house passed version and makes clear that a professional firefighter can, in fact, volunteer to be part of a volunteer force. the senate drafters of this bill worked

Susan Collins

2:31:52 to 2:32:11( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: with groups representing volunteer firefighters. i would note that the national volunteer fire council supports the language in the senate substitute that protects the voluntr firefighters. mr. president,

Susan Collins

2:32:11 to 2:32:27( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: i believe that this bill is a balanced, constructive measure that will help first responders and improve public safety without improperly or unduly burdening states. it has won the endorsement of the international

Susan Collins

2:32:27 to 2:32:52( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: association of firefighters and it is particularly appropriate that we are turning to this bill during national police week when so many police officers are also in town. mr. president, i believe

Susan Collins

2:32:52 to 2:33:11( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that all americans gained a new appreciation for the service and the sacrifices of our first responders on that terrible day september 11, 2001. on that day 343 new york city firefighters and paramedics,

Susan Collins

2:33:11 to 2:33:33( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: 28 new york police department officers, and 37ort authority officers died doing what they loved. they died trying to rescue others. such heroismoi occurs usually with far less tragic results. in towns

Susan Collins

2:33:33 to 2:33:53( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: and cities across our country every day. the least we can do to repay the sacrifice and service, the selflessness of our first responders is to ensure that all public safety officers have the right to bargain

Susan Collins

2:33:53 to 2:34:06( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: on their pay and safety standards and working conditions. mr. president, this legislation makes sense. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill to put america's public safety workers on an

Susan Collins

2:34:06 to 2:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: equal footing with their counterparts in other jobs. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator fromr wymong. mr. enzi: i. want to thank w the senator

Mike DeWine

2:34:21 to 2:34:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mike DeWine: from maine for her very considered words. i would have one request for her, though, and that is she look at the paragraph that deals with volunteer firefighters if they're also professional firefighters

Mike DeWine

2:34:21 to 2:35:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mike DeWine

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