By Ben Velderman
TOPEKA, Kan. – School payroll departments have officially become a politics-free zone in Kansas.
On Monday, Gov. Sam Brownback signed a law “that bars public employee unions from taking voluntary deductions from members’ paychecks to help finance political activities,” reports Scott Rothschild of Lawrence Journal World.
Supporters of the law – mostly conservatives and members of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce – “argued that state and local government agencies processing payrolls shouldn’t be involved in the transactions that divert money to political action committee,” Rothschild reports.
Supporters also argued that some individuals were being “coerced” into making political contributions, according to Rothschild.
The Kansas Education Association – the state teachers union – and other public employee labor unions counter that the law is only intended to politically weaken their organizations and make them more difficult to operate.
Considering that we live in the age of PayPal and online banking, the unions’ argument rings hallow. It’s never been easier for labor unions to communicate directly with their members.
Instead of whining about whatever political motivations are behind the new law, the KEA should boldly join the rest of us in the 21st century and embrace technology.