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The measure would have made the state's anti-union right-to-work law a part of the state constitution. (Dean Hoffmeyer /Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Virginia voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to make the state’s right-to-work law a part of the state constitution.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting in, voters opposed the anti-labor union amendment 47-53 percent.

The result does little to change the laws in the Old Dominion, which has had a right-to-work law on the books since 1947. However, many conservative and business groups feared political support for the measure might be ebbing and sought to add it to the state constitution to shore it up.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, was elected in 2013 with strong support from organized labor. He has not moved to repeal right-to-work in the state and spoke in favor of it, but he sometimes has made ambiguous comments about the law, and many conservative groups suspect he opposes it. He opposed the constitutional amendment.

Currently 26 states have versions of right-to-work laws. The measures state that workers cannot be forced to join or otherwise financially support a union as a condition of employment. In states without right-to-work laws, union leaders typically insist that their contracts with management include provisions forcing the workers to support the union.

Supporters of right-to-work laws say workers shouldn’t be coerced into supporting unions. Union leaders hate the laws, which are associated with declining membership and depleted treasuries.

GOP projected to keep House, Republicans look to speaker race

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Republicans were on track to keep their House majority Tuesday, making their next mission the re-election of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Projections as of 8:40 p.m. Tuesday said Republicans would keep their majority, although they were still expected to lose some seats.

No one expected Republicans to lose control of the House, but their diminished numbers means governing could be tougher given the ongoing split within the conference between anti-establishment and mainstream lawmakers.

A first test of that will be choosing a speaker. The slimmer majority could have the effect of making it easier for Ryan to hold onto the gavel, since the GOP can only afford so many defections before giving away the speaker’s slot to

11/08/16 8:44 PM

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