The Kansas House today passed an anti-union bill. The bill would stop public employees' unions from using members' union payroll deductions to fund political activities.
The vote was 68-56 to approve the bill. It next goes to the Kansas Senate.
Voting against the bill were the Wyandotte County delegation members in the House, including Democrats Rep. Tom Burroughs, Stan Frownfelter, Broderick Henderson, Mike Peterson, Louis Ruiz, Valdenia Winn and Kathy Wolfe-Moore.
The Kansas National Education Association, in a statement, said that the action today trampled on the right of teachers and other public employees to collectively and freely advocate for schools, social services and public safety.
The bill defines political activities so broadly that not only could the money not be used for electioneering communications to the public, it could not be used even to communicate with members internally, according to the KNEA.
The KNEA claimed that some legislators and organizations - notably the state's largest spending political organization, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce - seek to silence all opposition to their message in the political arena. A KNEA statement said that the Kansas Chamber of Commerce intends for this bill to silence public sector workers - they said as much in the committee hearing when their lobbyist Eric Stafford responded to a question by saying, "I need you to pass this bill so we can get rid of public sector unions."
KNEA President Karen Godfrey said, "I have been an active teacher for over 30 years and I have never seen such a deluge of offensive anti-teacher legislation as has been produced in the first 12 days of this session. Kansans are ashamed to be represented in such a vindictive manner. The heartfelt thanks of thousands of dedicated public employees go out to the 56 Democrats and Republicans who stood up for them today."
The votes for and against, according to the Legislature's website:
Voting for the bill: Alford, Barker, Boldra, Bradford, Bruchman, Brunk, Couture-Lovelady, Carlson, Carpenter, Cassidy, Claeys, Concannon, Crum, DeGraaf, Dove, Edmonds, Edwards, Esau, Ewy, Gandhi, Garber, Goico, Grosserode, Hawkins, Hedke, Hermanson, Highland, Hildabrand, Hoffman, Howell, Huebert, Hutton, Johnson, Jones, Kahrs, Kelley, Kelly, Kinzer, Kleeb, Lunn, Macheers, Mast, McPherson, Meigs, Merrick, Montgomery, Osterman, Peck, Petty, Powell, Read, Rhoades, Rothlisberg, Rubin, Ryckman Jr., Ryckman Sr., Schroeder, Schwab, Schwartz, Seiwert, Siegfreid, Suellentrop, Sutton, Thimesch, Todd, Vickrey, Waymaster, Weber.
Voting against the bill: Alcala, Ballard, Becker, Bideau, Bollier, Bridges, Burroughs, Campbell, Carlin, Christmann, Clayton, Corbet, Davis, Dierks, Dillmore, Doll, Finch, Finney, Frownfelter, Gonzalez, Grant, Henderson, Henry, Hibbard, Hill, Hineman, Houser, Houston, Jennings, Kuether, Lane, Lusk, Meier, Menghini, Moxley, Pauls, Perry, Peterson, Phillips, Proehl, Rooker, Ruiz, Sawyer, Shultz, Sloan, Sloop, Swanson, Tietze, Trimmer, Victors, Ward, Weigel, Whipple, Wilson, Winn, Wolfe Moore.