Is Garofalo Pro-Private Employee Unions?

Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-58B, Farmington) likely surprised some of his fellow Republicans when he put out the following press release, which attempts to capitalize on WI’s pending passage of Right-to-Work legislation. WI Governor Scott Walker (R) a likely candidate for the Republican nomination for President has already said he will sign the bill. Garofalo might want to deploy our twitter hash tag #MNvsWI, which focuses on the similarities and the dramatic differences between the two states.

For the record Garofalo was a member of the majority when House Republicans sought to constitute our states own Right-to-Work legislation in 2011, but he is quick to differentiate between public sector and private sector unionization. Critics might see this as a ploy to court future union votes for Republican candidates.


RELEASE: Minnesota Jobs Committee chair working to bring businesses from Wisconsin to Minnesota

St PAUL, MN—In light of legislation passed by the Wisconsin State Senate and being debated in the Wisconsin State Assembly that would make Wisconsin a “Right To Work” state, Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee Chairman Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, has extended an invitation to two Wisconsin businesses offering assistance relocating their headquarters to Minnesota.

The letters were sent to the owners of Hoffman Construction and Rock Road Companies, Inc., two construction companies who primarily handle road construction projects in the Midwest. Both are union contractors who privately contract with the International Union of Operating Engineers.

“Wisconsin’s Right To Work legislation would negatively impact the private contracts between these companies and the unions they have voluntarily decided to partner with,” Garofalo said. “It’s heavy-handed and the wrong for Wisconsin to inject government into these private contractual relationships that has worked well for private companies for decades.”

Bill Kennedy, owner of Rock Road Companies, Inc. testified in front of a Senate panel late last month in opposition to the Right to Work proposal, and was quoted in the Wisconsin State Journalas saying “This bill will hurt the way I and many of my counterparts do business. We work in partnership with our local unions. […] This process has worked for many decades.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also detailed opposition from James Hoffman, the owner of Hoffman Construction.

“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,” Garofalo concluded.

Because of the strong similarity between our two states regionally, culturally, and economically, it sets the stage for a worthy comparison. This has been a focus on our line of questions with our state’s political leadership. Additionally, the tenet of Garofalo’s pitch to WI business owners only accentuates an already existing reality. WI is the principal provider of our state’s newest residents. Annually, our state sees about 120,000 new residents migrating from other states. Historically, Minnesota has remained a magnet for in migration from other states in the region mainly due to its persistent economic growth.

The most recent figures gathered through the 2013 American Community Survey shows WI accounts for 13.18% of our states in migration or 17,600.  Normally, is the largest resource of people, but it was surpassed slightly in 2013 by ND with 13.24%, IA accounts for 6.95% and SD 4.50%. Regionally, Illinois provided 6.75% of the state’s newer residents.

(Taken from the Migration/Geographic Mobility website

These figures can have far lasting effects when considering populations shifts recorded during the US Census and resulting in Congressional Reapportionment. WI lost a Congressional District seat in 2002 and our two states are growing closer together every year. If the trend continues MN could be only 100,000 less than WI in the 2020 Census. This is significant because

The size of a Congressional District in 2000 was an average 646,952 people. This rose to 710,767 in 2010. During those same periods the WI Population in 2000 was 5,374,000, while MN’s was 4,934,000. Both climbed in 2010 with WI at 5,691,000 and MN 5,311,000.

The current WI population estimate is 5,758,000 (An annual average growth increase of .9883) MN’s population estimate 5,457,000 (An annual average growth increase of .9732), or a difference 301,000. The national population estimate is 318,900,000 (An annual average growth increase of .9698). Both of our state’s populations are increasing at a rate slightly better than average.

This means Garofalo’s encouragement coupled with job losses in ND due to lower oil prices and work stoppage of Bakken Oil Shale drilling could provide additional in migration and hence population increases. In the 1950’s people usually resided in the same place for five years currently people reside in the same location less than half that figure.

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