Topeka A bill prohibiting unions from making paycheck deductions for political activities won preliminary approval Wednesday in the Kansas House.
The measure, which also bans public employee unions from endorsing candidates, was advanced 80-36, with final passage expected today. Only Republicans supported the legislation.
Organized labor and its supporters in the Legislature said House Bill 2130 was an attack on the ability of workers to organize and participate as a group in the political process.
“This is a nice attempt to stick it to unions,” said Rep. Mike Slattery, D-Mission.
Supporters of the bill say it is aimed at helping union workers who disagreed with their union’s political activities.
But union supporters said union members can always opt out of not belonging to the union or not wanting their dues used for political activities.
The bill is being pushed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence called the bill “a naked assault on the ability of teachers, prison guards, carpenters, construction workers and other working Kansans to participate in the political process.”