Committee Continues Hearings On Union Paycheck Bill

Feb 6, 2013

A Kansas Senate committee continued hearings Wednesday on a controversial bill affecting union paycheck deductions.

The bill would bar unions from taking automatic deductions from members' paychecks for political purposes. Voluntary deductions of that type are currently allowed.

The bill also expands the definition of political activities in which public employee unions can't participate. Senate President Susan Wagle supports blocking the paycheck deductions. She said redefining the union political activities concerns her because those changes cost the bill some votes in the House.

“What I don’t want is something that weighs down this bill or goes to court and delays the bill, because we already know that the state can choose not to deduct political dues,” Wagle said.

The top Democrat on the committee, Tom Holland from Baldwin City, said he believes the bill is written too broadly and would bar unions from taking part in any political activities.