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Kentucky Senate overturns veto and takes final action on union dues bill

Kentucky Senate 03-29-23
Stu Johnson
Kentucky Senate 03-29-23

The Kentucky Senate voted 23 to 13 Wednesday to override Governor Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill seven. The body gave final passage to the measure that prohibits the use of a public payroll deduction system to collect certain union dues or for political fundraising. Henderson Senator Robby Mills said such a process is not a constitutional right.

“And union members have every opportunity to pay dues outside the public payroll system. And with modern technology, is even easier to do so,” said Mills.

Mills said it won’t change a public employee from engaging in collective bargaining or prevent payroll deduction for health insurance.

Opponents said the legislation is a ‘union busting’ bill. Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas said one court ruling stated such a prohibition does violate public employee freedom of speech. Louisville Senator Cassie Chambers Armstrong also spoke out against the bill.

“I think it’s designed to make sure that people don’t pay because they forget to bring a check or because their credit card is out of date. I think that it is bad for organized labor,” said Chambers Armstrong.

Chambers Armstrong said the bill only pertains to specific unions.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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