Texas Legislature Interim Charges Released: Union Dues Collection Tops the List
The Texas Senate was the first to release charges to all Senate committees to study during the interim period between legislative sessions. Among the charges issued by Lt. Governor Patrick
, was one of critical importance to the members of NFIB/Texas relating to union dues—examine the practice of using public funds and employees for the payment processing of union dues. Make recommendations on whether Texas should end this practice. The charge was spurred by legislation passed by the Senate during the 84th Legislative Session and supported by NFIB/Texas, which in part sought to prohibit any governmental entity from collecting dues and membership fees from any public employee on behalf of a trade union or labor union.
Not to be outdone by their Senate counterparts, the House soon after released their interim charges to also include the paycheck protection issue. Speaker Straus went a step further in his charge to the House, adding charities to the list of groups that should or should not use state resources to collect money. The charge to House State Affairs Committee was laid out as follows: Examine payroll deductions from state or political subdivision employees for the purpose of labor organization membership dues or fees as well as charitable organization and nonprofit contributions. Determine if this process is an appropriate use of public funds.
Charities and non-profits are not at the top of the list of concern for NFIB. They don’t have the man-power or money that unions do who routinely lobby for issues that would put small business owners out of business by driving up cost, adding new causes of action against employers which escalate litigation and liability issues, and interfere with the employer/employee relationship by pushing unnecessary mandates.
“Millions of dollars have been collected by our state and local government for union groups, who in turn, use that money to organize against businesses and campaign for mandated minimum wage increases and many other job killing mandates that NFIB/Texas vehemently opposes,” said Annie Spilman, Legislative Director for NFIB/Texas. “This actually is a legitimate example of picking winners and losers. Our government shouldn’t tilt the playing field in the favor of any group who turns around and lobbies an issue with them one way or the other. We don’t ask the government to collect dues for NFIB and we certainly would hope they wouldn’t do so for a group with clear anti-business, self-serving sentiments.”
NFIB/Texas was very involved in the matter during the legislative session, as were other business associations, and plans to continue its involvement not only on this specific charge, but on the various other charges that relate to the economy and small business in Texas.
NFIB has 24,000 dues-paying members in all 254 counties in Texas, and proudly represent a cross-section of the state’s economy.