Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, March 14, 2013

Senate approves Chamber-backed bill opposed by unions

March 14, 2013

Advertisement

— With only Republican support, the Kansas Senate on Thursday approved a bill prohibiting public employee unions from deducting money from members' paychecks to pay for political activities.

Supporters of the business-backed bill said it would remove the state from being involved with paycheck deductions for political purposes.

"We are withdrawing the government from any activity involved in these payroll deductions," state Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe.

Opponents of the bill said it was a thinly disguised effort by conservative Republicans to throttle the Kansas National Education Association and Kansas Organization of State Employees, whose political action committees support Democrats and moderate Republicans.

"The Legislature has crossed the line," said Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City. "That is flat-out wrong. That is tyranny," he said.

"This is an effort to try to make it, if not impossible, then extremely difficult for our public employees in Kansas to participate in the political process," said Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka, who is a teacher and member of the KNEA.

But Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, who also is a teacher, said teachers can write personal checks or set up private accounts to set aside funds for PACs.

"I have no problem expressing my political opinion. I write a check. It's not hard to do. This doesn't take anyone's voice away," Smith said.

The bill was adopted 24-16. Only Republicans voted for it; the opposition included all eight Democrats and eight Republicans.

Lynn and Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe, said the state shouldn't expend money to make these transactions. But Hensley said that under the union contracts, the unions reimburse the state for each transaction, and that the state is probably making money off the deal.

During hearings on the bill, Eric Stafford, a lobbyist for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, told a House committee, "I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions." He later said that wasn't what he meant and that he said that when he got frustrated when pressed by a legislator on what the Chamber wanted.

A similar bill was approved by the House, but Senate leaders combined two business-backed bills into one, so the measure will go back to the House for consideration.

The other bill allows an employer to withhold wages for several reasons, including overpayment or loan repayment.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

The Chamber works for ALEC.

Do some homework.... The ALEC doctrine spells out the plan.

United States of ALEC – Bill Moyers http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

ALEC – The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in State Legislatures http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures

ALEX EXPOSED – The Koch Connection http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

0

pace 1 year, 1 month ago

I can chose to donate or support by automatic deduction from my paycheck, it is easy and how I would like to handle my support. Ther anti workinfg family attitude is what should be against the law.

0

oldexbeat 1 year, 1 month ago

The truth came out under stress -- as is often the case with those that lie --

"During hearings on the bill, Eric Stafford, a lobbyist for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, told a House committee, "I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions." He later said that wasn't what he meant and that he said that when he got frustrated when pressed by a legislator on what the Chamber wanted."

Yup. Facts. Screw teachers. Screw civil service. Screw non-partisan local elections. Etc. Koch Suckers LLC GOP Tea Party, Inc. rules. The Party Ist Always Right.

1

voevoda 1 year, 1 month ago

One of the first things Hitler did to consolidate his power was dissolve labor unions.

2

autie 1 year, 1 month ago

So does this mean that not one more dime of State money will ever go in any form to support a trip to the ALEC club meetings?

6

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 1 month ago

My Voluntary Payroll deduction for Union Dues is more of a convenience for me than anything. Union Membership in Kansas is not Mandatory and Payroll Deductions are not required for membership. I will gladly write checks in the future and I will ALWAYS remember the Kansas Legislature for what it has done(or hasn't done) for its Citizens of this State. Every check will remind me.

7

weeslicket 1 year, 1 month ago

also: doesn't it seem more than peculiar that the kansas chamber of commerce (a business advocacy group) got to speak on these bills when knea (an education advocacy group) did not?

knea (an education advocacy group) is not allowed to give testimony on bills that affect education and have NOTHING TO DO WITH "COMMERCE"; and yet, the kansas chamber of commerce is allowed to speak on these bills, even though they have nothing to do with commerce.

none of this passes the smell test. when officials behave in this way, bad things follow.

8

weeslicket 1 year, 1 month ago

how is money from my own paycheck being "coerced" from me by the union that i chose to join? it isn't.

is there any proof in evidence that this sort of coersion happens (at all)? no. not from any testimony given on this bill, because there was no testimony to this effect. just a couple of "i've heard it said" comments from a few legislators (and yes, they were Rs).

what is wrong with KNEA supporting mostly dems and moderate repubs? nothing. KNEA is an advocacy group (that's your 1st amendment again), and it just so happens that in this state, that means supporting mostly dems and moderate republicans.

6

NotAGolfer 1 year, 1 month ago

"The Legislature has crossed the line," said Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City. "That is flat-out wrong. That is tyranny," he said.

Who's tyrannical? The GOP for saying that people can CHOOSE whether or not to support unions on their own check-writing time? Or the unions for using tax-payer money (from Dems and Repubs alike) to automatically withhold money from people's paycheck for unions, which use almost all their money to support Democrats, who write law to make it easier for unions to coerce money from people?

You people have logic problems.

0

ATR920 1 year, 1 month ago

I will be filling a law suit to make sure fellow teachers can't get their YMCA dues deducted or any other faith based org. If I can't get my union dues deducted then Christian org surely can't either. The state can't let the church benefit from tax payers.

4

ibroke 1 year, 1 month ago

this is a great thing that was done thank you!

1

1southernjayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm glad to see the legislature take this action. There is no reason that government should be involved in union dues collection activity. Unions can continue to raise money like every other group.

2

Katara 1 year, 1 month ago

FTA:"I have no problem expressing my political opinion. I write a check. It's not hard to do. This doesn't take anyone's voice away," Smith said.

You should have no problem with eliminating all payroll deductions. I highly encourage you, Sen. Smith, to push for it.

No more payroll deduction for United Way. No more payroll deduction for parking. No more payroll deduction for professional membership dues. No more payroll deduction for health insurance. No more payroll deduction for 401k. etc.

Everyone can just write a check. I hear it isn't hard to do.

Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the banking industry would completely support you in your efforts, Sen. Smith. That would increase the number of checks written. Have you priced how much new checks cost now?

9

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 1 month ago

Stafford didn't mean what he said when pressed about what he meant? It's clear what the chamber thinks of the 47% which is really the 99%...

This is nothing more than government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich and S$&w everyone else...

The chamber should lose its tax exempt status as it is not a nonpartisan organization.

Kansas...the new Libya/Iraq/north Korea...

6

Commenting has been disabled for this item.