By Ben Velderman
TOPEKA, Kan. – The payroll departments of Kansas’ public school districts and other government entities are about to become politics-free zones.
The Republican-controlled legislature has approved a bill that would bar Kansas’ public employee unions “from deducting money from members’ paychecks to help finance political activities,” reports the Associated Press.
Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign the bill into law.
Supporters of the probable law say it’s improper for state and local government agencies to facilitate employee contributions to political action committees.
“Supporters also contend the change will protect public employee union members from having part of their pay funneled to candidates or causes they oppose,” writes the AP.
While the bill makes it more cumbersome for unions to collect contributions from state employees, it probably won’t cause many individuals to flee their union.
The AP notes that Kansas has been a right-to-work state since the 1950s. That means the people who are currently in a public sector labor union have chosen to do so; union membership was not a condition of their employment.
State Rep. Marvin Kleeb told the AP that union members will still be able to write checks or donate money individually to political action committees.
“The point is to protect individual rights,” Kleeb said.