A measure called “paycheck protection” by supporters and “paycheck deception” by opponents has failed in the state Senate. Governor Jay Nixon (D) had vetoed the bill and an attempt to overturn that veto failed by one vote. The House voted last week to override it.
The proposal would have required public employees to give written permission annually for union dues to be collected from their pay.
Senator Paul Wieland (R-Imperial) opposed the measure earlier in the session, but switched sides during the override attempt. Senator Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) supported the measure earlier this year, but changed his vote this time.
The answer that the chamber was uncertain about was Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s. She says her “yes” vote earlier this year was by mistake, but she later grew comfortable with her decision. She was quiet about how she planned to vote during the override attempt, but when it came down to it, her answer was loud and clear: no.
Senator Dan Brown (R-Rolla) proposed the measure. He argued that workers should decide if their pay should go toward political efforts.
“I think they will be better off because they’ve got better choices. We’ve made it easier for them to sign. They can do written or electronic authorization. It gives them control of their paycheck,” said Brown. “I don’t understand how having control of your paycheck lessens or costs you money. I think it gives you more money in your hand.”
Opponents, like Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), says the proposal would create barriers for union workers.
“This is about undermining the union movement as we know it. It’s about weakening the unions as we know it,” said Nasheed.
Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) says the bill would have benefitted politicians, not union workers.
“It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in a place where political agendas weave their way into the policy that’s formulated on this floor,” said Holsman. “We’ve seen it from the time that policymaking has been established, that’s been the case. I’m not sure that we’re ever going to solve that, but we don’t have to ignore it.”
First responders, like law enforcement and firefighters, were not included in the bill.