Florida House bans automatic deduction of union dues from government workers' payrolls

On March 25, the Florida State House voted 73-40 to prohibit union dues from being automatically deducted from the paychecks of all government workers.

HB1021 states that unions must also obtain an annual written authorization from their members before using dues for a political union activity. Additionally, teachers, police officers, firefighters and other state workers would be entitled to a refund on any money spent on a political activity without their authorization.

"Unions should not be the sole decision maker in how union dues are spent," said State Representative Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary. "Members participating in the union should play a fundamental role in that process."

Unlike in some other states, Floridian workers are not obligated to belong to unions. Representative Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, called the bill "a calculated step to diminish the power of the unions."

The bill will now move on to the Senate.

Similar proposals have recently been filed in several states including Mississippi and Alabama, and more are expected to follow. The International Association of Fire Fighters recently challenged the changes to the Alabama state law by filing suit in the Huntsville federal district court.

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