Corbett says he’d sign bill ending deduction of union dues

01.24.14 | Bob Price

Pa Governor Tom Corbett didn’t say much about so-called paycheck protection legislation, but what he said this week held plenty of weight.

Pennsylvania’s Republican governor said that should the legislation barring the automatic deduction of union dues from a public employee’s paycheck reach his desk, he would sign it. Beyond that, his brief remarks noted the divisive feelings about the proposal.

“There is a desire on the part of many to do that; there is a desire on the part of many to block that,” he said while answering reporters’ questions Wednesday.

Two bills addressing the issue — one in the state House and one in the state Senate — haven’t come up for a vote yet, but they’ve already set off a wave of debate.

Proponents of the bill say they don’t like the idea of government collecting money for unions, which often find themselves in the middle of political battles.

Union leaders from the public and private sector have joined forces against the proposed legislation, describing it as an attempt to bust organized labor. David Fillman, executive director of the AFSCME Council 13, called it a “vindictive” move.

Corbett said he would talk to parties on both sides of the issue and see whether leaders in the General Assembly have the votes to push through the legislation.

State Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair, is the prime sponsor of the bill in the Senate, while state Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, is leading the push in the House.

The situation will likely only intensify next week, when the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is scheduled to host a press conference in the state Capitol to address the legislation.