(Washington) -- Pennsylvania's senior U.S. senator is urging Republican leaders of the state legislature not to move forward on a bill that would make it harder for labor unions to collect dues and political action contributions through payroll deductions.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Democratic Senator Bob Casey expressed concern the legislation could be quickly pushed through in an election year with the support of conservative groups and major business associations.
In a letter to state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, and state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, Casey said the bill could undermine unions' ability to bargain collectively.
The issue has leaked into this year's hotly contested governor's race. Republican Governor Tom Corbett has pledged to sign the bill if passed.
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter is below:
Dear Senator Pileggi and Representative Turzai,
I am writing to you regarding Senate Bill 1034 and House Bill 1507. It is my understanding that these bills have been introduced in both the Senate and House respectively and are awaiting further consideration. I have heard from my constituents and I wish to express my concern that these bills may unfairly target public employees and could ultimately undermine the right of these employees to bargain collectively.
It is my understanding that these bills would end the right of certain public employee unions to bargain for automatic dues deductions from their paychecks. This is a right that has been shared by the likes of teachers, bus drivers, road maintenance crews, and many other public servants for decades. Automatic dues deductions is a policy that unions and public officials have negotiated jointly in the past. I am not aware of any particular reason why that bargaining right should be taken away now or why this type of deduction would be singled out.
As the majority leaders in both the House and Senate, I respectfully ask you to not move forward with taking up these bills. I appreciate your attention to this important matter.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator
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