Yesterday the Senate approved legislation (SB375) that would repeal public employee payroll deductions for employee associations and end withholding employee wages for membership fees or dues. The vote was 32-17 and mostly along party lines.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), removes state government from the business of providing free administrative services to employee associations such as the State Employees Association of North Carolina, North Carolina Association of Educators, and the Teamsters.
Civitas has written extensively on the issue of dues check off (as we did here). Simply stated, there is no compelling reason why state government should be in the business of providing assistance to private organizations and aiding some organizations over others — and performing such functions for free, no less. Dues check-off services provide a ready and reliable funding source for organizations that are some of the most active in terms of political contributions and frequently take stances outside the mainstream and often at odds with the views of their members. Former NCAE Executive Director Scott Anderson was quoted as saying 80 percent of NCAE revenues came from dues check-off.
State government needs to stop providing dues check-off services. Conservatives should be encouraged by the Senate vote. Let’s hope the House can marshal up the same courage and also pass the bill.