Extremists in Missouri House narrowly vote to send paycheck deception bill to Senate

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Missouri-CapitolJefferson City – Despite overwhelming testimony about its negative consequences, extremists in the Missouri House voted to send HB1617, a paycheck deception measure, to the Senate by a narrow margin of 83 to 69.

The bill is similar to SB29, which was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon last year. Unlike last year’s version, however, this bill contains ballot referral language to put the measure on the August ballot. Just as in last year’s legislation, HB1617 seeks to shut hardworking public workers – with the exception of first responders such as police and fire fighters –out of the political process – and to take away their voice on the job.

Sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston), HB 1617 would require public sector workers to give annual written permission for union dues to be taken out of their paychecks.

The bill would also require similar approval for unions to spend worker fees on political activities.

Bottom line: Paycheck deception has nothing to do with “choice” or protecting workers; it is an attack on unions, forcing unions to spend more resources collecting dues so they have less ability to advocate for workers at workplaces and in politics.

Our state’s teachers, nurses, snow plow drivers and other public workers deserve much better than HB1617,” said Mike Louis, Secretary Treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO.

“The significant bipartisan opposition to this deceptive and unfair bill shows that there continues to be strong concerns about this unnecessary legislative attack on working Missourians,” Louis said.

“There’s a deep disconnect when extremists pass a bill attacking the same public workers who right now are cleaning up and restoring critical services after dangerous storms.”

BROKEN TRUST

“Paycheck deception is just as wrong as ‘right to work,’ said Beth Pitney, Eligibility Specialist with the State of Missouri in Randolph County.

“I joined a union because I want a voice at work – and in Jefferson City. Every day I do what the people of Missouri trust me to do. Now I feel like that trust has been broken. Instead of making it harder to do my job, it is about time that politicians start working on creating jobs”

ATTACK ON FREE SPEECH

“Paycheck Deception is an aggressive attack on free speech,” said Jeff Mazur, executive director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 72. “It's not about improving the economy or creating jobs – it's about silencing the voices of Missouri's working men and women in favor of out-of-state corporate interests.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

This bill passed out of the House despite strong bipartisan opposition. You can help make sure it doesn't get out of the Senate by calling your legislators – Democrat and Republican – to let them know Missouri doesn’t need anti-worker paycheck deception.

Call 888-825-1418 to be connected to your legislator.

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