As bills are being pushed en masse through the General Assembly in the closing hours before the crossover deadline, legislation of a particularly retributive bend stands out among the rest. SB 727, “An Act to Eliminate the Dues Checkoff Option for Active and Retired Public School Employees” eliminates the ability for the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), North Carolina’s de facto teacher’s union, to receive member dues via automatic payroll deductions. This means that NCAE would have to collect their hundreds of thousands of dollars in member dues themselves.
The passage of SB 727 comes on the heels of a leaked caucus meeting where House Republicans discussed how they would protect the five Democrats who made a brave move to sign off on the GOP-crafted budget. NCAE, meanwhile, has run negative campaign ads in the Democrats’ districts, punishing them for cooperating with legislative Republicans.
House Speaker Thom Tillis commented candidly at a recent news conference of NCAE’s partisanship, calling them a “political machine for the left.”
Union-friendly Democrats in the House were quick to denounce the Republican bill. During the floor debate Rep. Jennifer Weiss (D – Wake) characterized the piece of legislation as “vindictive,” and “mean-spirited.”
The bill, which passed the House this afternoon on a 63-51 vote, is headed to the governor’s desk– where it stands a possibility of receiving an executive veto.