SB 13, the Texas Senate bill to take away your freedom to have your organizational dues deducted from your paycheck, has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee for review. This bill by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) resembles legislation that deservedly died without coming to a vote in the House State Affairs Committee in 2015. You can help SB 13 meet that same deserved fate this session by sending your e-letters from the Texas AFT legislative-action website to the 13 members of the State Affairs Committee:
Byron Cook, chair (R-Corsicana)
Helen Giddings, vice-chair (D-Dallas)
Tom Craddick (R-Midland)
Jessica Farrar (D-Houston)
Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)
Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City)
Ken King (R-Canadian)
John Kuempel (R-Seguin)
Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas)
Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville)
Chris Paddie (R-Marshall)
Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin)
John Smithee (R-Amarillo)
By sending your letters now to these 13 House members, you can help win the fight for the freedom of all public employees in Texas to decide for themselves what deductions will be made from their paychecks. If SB 13 does not win approval in committee by May 20, it will die. It is urgent that you send your letters now!
Below you can preview the draft letter you will find ready for your use on our website calling on the State Affairs Committee to block SB 13:
I urge you to reject SB 13, the bill that would take away the freedom of teachers and all other school employees to make voluntary payments from their earnings, via safe and secure payroll dues deduction, to the employee organizations of their choice. The bill also would take away this freedom from most other state and local public employees—including nurses, child protection workers, correctional officers, custodians, clerks, and other public servants.
The Senate author claims the goal is to get the state “out of the business of collecting dues” for employee organizations, but the bill would keep payroll dues deduction for some favored categories of employees and kill it for those who are out of favor. That’s just wrong. Legislators sitting in Austin have no business endorsing or opposing particular viewpoints through manipulation of state payroll-deduction policies.
Membership in an employee organization in Texas is entirely voluntary, and so is the choice of dues payment via payroll deduction. This method of payment is convenient, safe, and secure for employees, removing virtually all risk of fraud or ID theft. There is no cost to taxpayers; under current law, any costs of administering payroll deduction are the responsibility of the organization receiving the payment.
Last session, this politically motivated bill was OPPOSED by mayors, county commissioners, superintendents, teachers, independent school districts, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, parole officers, retirees, public education groups, and law enforcement organizations.
I ask that you respect and appreciate the teachers and other public employees of Texas—reject SB 13!