SB 727 (No Dues Check-Off) has been on the House calendar the last two days. The listing means the House could consider the bill — not that they will. Still, there are strong reasons why the House should vote to approve the legislation.
Currently state statutes allow only certain organizations to collect membership dues via payroll deductions. The state collects dues for the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) and the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). In April, Senator Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) introduced legislation (SB 727) that would eliminate the dues check-off option for active and retired school employees. Earlier this year, the legislation passed the House and the Senate. Gov. Perdue vetoed the bill in June.
Is there any reason why government should provide administrative functions to private organizations? If you’re a Democratic governor with teachers and NCAE members as a primary constituency that question is not difficult to answer. Dues check off provides NCAE with a ready source of income from NCAE members. It saves NCAE time and money by not having to collect money on its own. Not surprisingly, Democrats have been on the receiving end of the overwhelming majority of NCAE political contributions. Of course teachers and educators have a right to express their opinions. However they don’t have right to gain the assistance of state government to further the goals of professional and political organizations.
North Carolinians are not unaware of this. Last June the Civitas Poll asked voters if North Carolina should end its practice of allowing only certain membership organizations to collect dues via payroll deduction. Forty-six percent of respondents supported ended the practice and said organizations should collect dues directly from their members. Thirty percent advocated continuing the practice of collecting dues through payroll deduction. Twenty-Four percent of respondents didn’t know nor had no opinion.
SB 727 is not perfect. It targets only NCAE. Since no compelling reason exists to use state government to aid private entities, a broad prohibition is a far better option. Still SB 727 helps to level the playing field. It’s a good reason why House members should vote to override Gov. Perdue’s veto.
For more information SB 727 see here