The 2013 Legislature barred public-employee unions from deducting money from members’ paychecks to help finance political activities. Now, a bill passed by a Senate committee would prevent public employees’ voluntary use of automatic paycheck deductions not only to pay union dues but also to make charitable donations. Wichita-based United Way of the Plains alone collects about $305,000 of the $15 million it raises annually via payroll deductions from Wichita teachers and other public employees. If the Legislature insists on continuing its mean-spirited and unnecessary assault on public employees and their unions, it at least should leave the United Way and other charities out of the line of fire. – Rhonda Holman
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