(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Dec. 16, 2016 — National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/Texas, the state’s leading small business association, applauds efforts of Texas lawmakers to end the practice of the state and local government collecting dues from employees on behalf of unions. Legislation to level the playing field between organized labor and the business community has been filed in both houses of the Texas Legislature in preparation for the upcoming 85th legislative session.
Today, Chairwoman Joan Huffman (Houston) filed SB 13 to prohibit the government from collecting membership dues from any public employee on behalf of a trade union, labor union, or association. Representative Sarah Davis (Houston) filed a comparable bill—HB 510—in the House earlier this month.
Although Texas is a right-to-work state, Texas is one of the few remaining states to grant special privilege to labor unions by serving as a membership dues collector on the state and local level. Per Texas State Comptroller data, the state has collected millions for unions over the years. Those funds are then used to push policies that undermine job providers in Texas, and in some cases, used to fund campaigns against individual businesses. 93 percent of the small business owners who responded to an NFIB/Texas member ballot agreed that the government should remain neutral and stop stacking the deck against employers in this state.
“It’s puzzling to the business community that pro-active legislation asking the government to remain neutral by not collecting dues (and millions of dollars) for one group over the other, has been labeled ‘’anti-union legislation,” said NFIB/Texas Legislative Director Annie Spilman, “We know that membership dues are the main source of revenue for most organizations, and in this case, our government is helping to directly fund the lobby and litigation efforts of labor unions vs. small business in this state.”
In response to the call to action by the business community and his Texas constituents, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick designated this as legislative priority for the upcoming session, reserving the low bill number in the Senate.
NFIB/Texas has 21,000 dues-paying members representing a cross-section of the state’s economy from agriculture, construction, and manufacturing to wholesale, retail, and services. Additionally, NFIB/Texas membership is 96 percent comprised of businesses who have 40 employees or less and is the largest association advocating for small business in the Capitol.