Union dues in crosshairs of John Thrasher bill
Sen. John Thrasher, former state GOP chairman, looks like he has filed a bill (SB830) to starve unions like the Florida Education Association, SEIU, AFL-CIO, firefighters, police unions or AFSCME by banning the Democratic-leaning organizations from using salary deductions for political purposes. The legislation also says any "public employer may not deduct or collect" union dues, etc. Lastly, it says that any public employee who didn't specifically authorize the use of his money could be entitled to a partial refund.
The bill doesn't seem to go as far as Wisconsin's by ending collective bargaining rights in Florida, though in a right-to-work state there's only so much union bargaining that can take place. Still, the language about union dues sure looks like it's right out of the playbook of the tea party and Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker (who incidentally is not a high-speed rail fan, either).
Here are some excerpts from Thrasher's bill, SB 830, which doesn't seem to have a house sponsor. Yet.
"Deductions may not be made for purposes of political activity, including contributions to a candidate, political party, political committee, committee of continuous existence, electioneering communications organization, or organization exempt from taxation under s. 501(c)(4) or s. 527 of the Internal Revenue Code."
"A public employer may not deduct or collect the dues, uniform assessments, fines, penalties, or special assessments of an employee organization from the compensation of any person employed by the public employer..."
"Unless an employee has executed a written authorization, the employee is entitled to a pro rata refund of any dues, uniform assessments, fines, penalties, or special assessments paid by the employee and used by the labor organization of which the employee is a member to make contributions or expenditures, as defined in s. 106.011. The written authorization must be executed by the employee separately for each fiscal year of the labor organization and shall be accompanied with a detailed account, provided by the labor organization, of all contributions and expenditures made by the labor organization in the preceding 24 months."