Texas Conservatives Revisit Union Dues Bill

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Texas conservatives will revisit a 2015 bill that would prohibit voluntary payroll deductions of union dues from state employee paychecks Monday.

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee is holding a public hearing Monday morning on Senate Bill 13, which would prohibit automatic payroll deductions, with exceptions for police and firefighters unions. The hearing is set for 8:00 a.m.

The idea to end auto-payroll deductions for unions came to a head in 2015, when a Texas legislator filed a bill that would do just that. The bill didn’t make it out of committee, after its chairman, a moderate Republican, said that time had run-out.

The 2015 version of the bill was opposed by firefighters, who were not exempted from the legislation. The 2017 version includes an exemption for the firefighters, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have said that a piece of legislation to roll back auto payments for union dues will be a legislative priority, according to the Texas Tribune.

“While we are cleaning up government, we should end the practice of government deducting union dues from the paychecks of employees,” Abbott said in his January state of the state address.

Following the public hearing, as long as the bill passes as expected, will be sent to the full Senate for debate.

Texas is a right-to-work state, which means that employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues or association fees.

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