This week the House Workforce Development and Workforce Safety Committee heard testimony on legislation commonly known as “paycheck protection.” The bill, House Bill 1617, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, would require unions to get annual written authorization in order to collect fees that are automatically deducted from a worker’s paycheck by an employer. Unions would need similar consent to spend a person’s fees on political activities.
This legislation is necessary to ensure that workers have control over how a union spends its fees. The general assembly passed a similar measure last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Rep. Rehder wants her bill to be sent to a vote of the people instead of the governor, which would increase the measure’s chances of becoming law. If passed, it would appear on the August 2014 ballot.
The Missouri Chamber is supportive of this legislation, and Jay Atkins, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber, testified on its behalf.
“Our members overwhelmingly support this legislation,” Atkins testified. “Each and every person should have the right to choose each year how their dues or their fees are spent and where those contributions go. This legislation will allow union members to direct where their money will go.”
Like last year’s version, unions representing “first responders,” such as police and firefighters, would not be affected under Rehder’s measure.
The committee did not vote on the measure Monday.
For more information on paycheck protection legislation, please contact Jay Atkins, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-634-3511.