Recently good progress was made on my legislation that protects government workers from being forced to pay for their union’s political activities.
Each year I hear from disgruntled state and local government workers and school employees who are upset that a portion of their paycheck is used for election advertisements and campaign contributions that are championed by their union bosses. They would rather have their money available to spend on their families rather than contributing to political battles.
Under current law, state and local governments withhold union dues and fair share fees from employee paychecks, and then transmit those funds to the union. From that moment on, the employee permanently loses control of funds that they earned.
Our laws were developed with the intention that government withhold the funds necessary for the union to represent the workers in negotiations with government employers. They were not intended to extract political campaign money from workers for the organization to use for politics.
Often, government employees find their own money being used for political causes that are completely opposite of their personal beliefs. My legislation addresses this concern by ensuring that government will withhold the necessary funds to pay for workers’ representation, but to not take money from workers to be used in politics.
This paycheck protection is long overdue. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans have union dues taken from their checks, and some of that money is spent by their union on political activities.
Very simply, my bill protects Minnesota workers by giving them the authority to decide what they want to do with their money and what type of political activity they want to engage in.
The proposal has already received the support of the Minnesota House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee, and I’m hopeful it will make its way to a vote on the Minnesota House floor in the coming weeks.