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Lawmaker pitches halt to payroll deduction for government unions

Senator John Thrasher (R)

By Lynn Hatter


Tallahassee, FL – State Senator John Thrasher is defending his proposal to stop state employees from using payroll deduction for union dues. As Lynn Hatter reports, Thrasher's bill was up before a Senate Committee Monday, where many union members also came to protest it.

Time ran out in the committee before the bill could be heard but not before Thrasher spoke briefly. The unions say the proposal is retribution for their opposition to several Republican-supported proposals from last year. That includes Thrasher's failed teacher merit pay proposal, Senate Bill Six. But Thrasher says it's about getting government out of the dues- collecting process.

"The taxpayers of the state of Florida are basically saying lets get out of the business of collecting union dues, let the unions do it themselves. If the unions are doing such a great job with their members, I think they'll do fine with going after their members and having them give the money directly to them."

Thrasher's bill would also let union members opt out of having their money go to political causes. The unions say the bill is an attempt to weaken their voice in the political process.