As many of you are aware, I have made Paycheck Protection legislation my top legislative priority since being elected to the Pennsylvania Senate. The purpose of this op-ed is to explain just what this legislation does and why I believe it is so important.

Paycheck Protection is a very simple and straightforward reform that will do nothing more than close a loophole in our state law that allows state government agencies and school districts to collect political contributions for government unions.

Today, governments all across the commonwealth use payroll deductions to collect money from government union members. This money, in the form of union dues and even outright political action committee money, is then used to engage directly in political activity to oppose the following issues:

•School tax elimination/reform.

Correcting the massive state pension problem.

Privatizing the state liquor store system.

Selling beer in grocery and convenience stores.

Expanding parental choice in education

I hear from many constituents, and they want the above listed issues corrected and are overwhelmingly in support of all of these things. Government unions use funds deducted from their members' paychecks and then use this money to lobby against the very reforms that everyone wants corrected.

Should government unions have a voice in our political system? Absolutely. Should they be allowed to directly collect and spend members' money to engage in political activity? Without a doubt.


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I am not opposed to union workers who elect to pay dues directly to their union.

What they should not be allowed to do is to use public payroll systems to collect dues money. Public sector unions should send their members a bill just like almost every trade union does, and their members will send them a check.

Using public money, no matter how much or how little, to collect campaign contributions is unethical. This money is used to stop critical reforms such as fixing our pension crisis, which is a large factor of annual school tax increases.

If paycheck protection is not passed, I can assure you the pension crisis will not be resolved and your school taxes will continue to increase. I will continue to make ending this practice one of my top priorities for this legislative session.

— State Sen. Scott Wagner is a Republican representing the 28th Senatorial District in York County.