A rhetorical battle is brewing over a proposal to end the automatic deduction of union dues and voluntary political contributions from the pay of public employees in Pennsylvania.
Unions representing public workers say it’s an attempt to kill organized labor and shrink their political spending.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County, says he’s not refuting the rights of public employee unions to make contributions to political campaigns and political action committees.
"What I am questioning is, however, the appropriateness of government collecting political money," he said. "Should the government collect political money?"
Cutler adds the practice looks unseemly, even if it doesn’t represent a large cost to state and local government.
Unions representing police and firefighters are exempt in the measure.
No votes have been scheduled on the proposal, but Gov. Tom Corbett says he supports it.