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Survey: Allow paycheck deduction for union dues, but not union political activity

  • Eagle Topeka bureau
  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at 10:04 a.m.

— By a slim margin, more Kansans say state government should withhold only general public union dues from employee paychecks, not a separate portion that could fund political activities, according to a new survey.

State and local governments can withhold voluntary union dues from employees, a portion of which unions use for political purposes. The SurveyUSA poll of 500 people last week, commissioned by the conservative Kansas Policy Institute, asked if people think governments should withhold union dues, including political funds, withhold only regular dues or withhold no money regardless of how it’s used.

Results showed 39 percent of Kansans think unions should be able withhold only general union dues — not for political advocacy. Another 30 percent said unions shouldn’t be able to do any paycheck deduction.

Meanwhile, 12 percent supported allowing union members to volunteer for payroll deduction that could fund political activity. About 19 percent were unsure how they felt.

The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percent.

The survey, which covered several topics, was released just hours before the House is scheduled to vote on a bill that would prevent unions from letting their members volunteer to have a portion of their paycheck docked to help fund political activities.

House Bill 2023 wouldn’t stop unions from collecting regular union dues or from getting personal checks from their members to pay for political action, such as financial backing for favored candidates or support of local bond issues.

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