LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state in the blink of an eye Tuesday after the state House rushed through legislation and Gov. Rick Snyder immediately signed it, capping a day of charged emotions, huge crowds and mostly peaceful demonstrations.
The speed with which the controversial legislation became law left organized labor and Democrats reeling.
There is talk of legal challenges and recall efforts, or opponents could try to mount a drive to put a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot aimed at overturning right-to-work. But Democrats and labor leaders say they are mostly focused on 2014, when they hope to regain control of the Legislature and the governor's office in the face of what they see as a Republican over-reach.
Because the new law was designed to include a $1 million appropriation to cover implementation, it can't be repealed by voter initiative, as the controversial 2011 emergency manager law was on Nov. 6.
But the right-to-work law wasn't what many of the opponents said they were interested in recalling Tuesday.
The sleeping tiger is awake now, Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift told the Free Press. We have 2014 as a goal to shift out and win justice.
Michigan, following Midwest neighbor Indiana into right-to-work status, garnered huge national and international attention, largely due to the state's history as a birthplace of the UAW and the location of the first sit-down strikes of the 1930s.