Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2011

Statehouse Live: Republican `family feud’ over Kansas paycheck deduction bill

May 5, 2011


— A fight over a bill that would limit unions' political activity is holding up legislative action Thursday on a measure that some legislators say is crucial to the state's unemployment insurance program.

Legislators say they need to pass a bill that pays back a federal government loan made last year to cover benefits for unemployed workers.

But House Republicans, led by state Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, want to add to that measure another bill, which would prohibit unions from using funds deducted from members' paychecks for campaign purposes.

In a testy House-Senate conference committee meeting, state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said the bill opposed by unions couldn't pass in the Senate.

Brown replied that the House "was prepared to walk away" from the underlying bill that deals with paying off the unemployment insurance loan.

Wagle said that would result in a massive tax increase for businesses and federal penalties.

"We're going to have to find a way solve the family feud," she said. Brown responded, "The ball is in your court. We're waiting on your chamber. Wagle tersely replied, "We're adjourned."

The so-called Paycheck Protection Act that Brown wants was at the center of controversy earlier in the legislative session.

Supporters of the bill say it will protect workers from being forced to contribute to candidates they don't support. Critics of the bill say paycheck deductions for political purposes are voluntary. Democrats say the measure is way for Republicans to hinder union fund-raising.

When the House approved the measure in February, several union members shouted from the public House gallery, urging legislators to vote against the bill. They were escorted out and House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, barred one union official from the gallery for the rest of the session.

Republican House leaders also said several union members said obscenities to female legislators and staff members prior to the vote. But union members vehemently denied the allegation.


Jan Rolls 4 years, 6 months ago

Liberty 275 like the republicans are rotten. The repulicans are liars the deduction is voluntarily made the same as if you were donating to united way, etc. The only mandatory deduction is KPERS. Keep up the lies because it shows how rotten you are.

KCox23 4 years, 6 months ago

If the deduction is voluntary, how then does this bill limit union fundraising? Couldn't the union members write a check after they get their paycheck and solve the problem, thus passing the bill so it is not an automatic deduction AND still not preventing the unions from raising money? When I give to United Way, I don't give them access to my checking account to electronically withdraw money, I don't know about you. Keep it up Fidogump, the only thing rotten in this situation (aside from the democrats and the union's hidden agenda) is that fleshy patch between your ears.

tolawdjk 4 years, 6 months ago

If the merits of the bill are as strong as you say imply they are, it should be able to stand on its own.

However, Brown knows it isn't, so is attempting to ride the work that he "wants" done, on the back of the work that "needs" to be done.

Again we see an example of the legislature taking action on a social engineering bill to the detriment of a bill that will have an effect on jobs. If the Paycheck Protection Bill passes, people that did voluntary donations will still do voluntary donations, but if the loan isn't paid back, taxes will be raised and jobs will be lost.

Which one should be the focus?

William Weissbeck 4 years, 6 months ago

No, if you give to United Way on a monthly basis, they ask to deduct from your paycheck. Looking back to when I remember K-10 as just a two lane highway that went right through Eudora, it's too bad that when the present K-10 was built, they didn't just pave over Eudora.

Jan Rolls 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks wwww just goes to show you how stupid some people are. Can't think beyond the lies and they keep drinking the cool aid.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

It is obviously a move to lessen the power of unions.

However, union members can easily write a check to the union separately, in order to continue their support of political activity.

pace 4 years, 6 months ago

The government telling the union how they can spend their dues. They need to tell the churches. Maybe the get in your face gop will pass a bill to tell families they can't donate to the "wrong" party. While the tax cuts to billionaires soar, no jobs for working families and they renage on pensions. And Kansas voted these bosses in.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.