HARRISBURG (October 14, 2015) – Public sector employees scored a major victory today, as the Senate passed groundbreaking legislation sponsored by Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair). SB 501 would ensure that public employee paychecks and taxpayer resources are no longer used as a vehicle for the collection of political money by outside groups. The law would only apply to public sector union contracts that currently benefit from this taxpayer-funded legal and financial privilege.
“This is what the majority of union members want and what the public deserves,” said Senator Eichelberger. “It protects members from being forced through the union to fund political candidates or causes they don’t support.”
To be clear, the legislation still allows public sector unions to continue to collect membership dues from union members and deduct the “Fair Share” amount from nonmembers which is used strictly for collective bargaining purposes, grievances, and arbitrations. In addition, unions can continue to spend political money, it just cannot be collected from employee paychecks by the government. Political contributions and other political funds must be collected from individuals directly by the organization seeking the funds, just as every other political organization must do.
“I congratulate Senator Eichelberger on his hard work to advance this important paycheck protection measure,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). “It is crucial that electoral politics and official government business have clear separation and that taxpayer resources are in no way used for campaign purposes.”
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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