Instead of working to eliminate government collection of union dues, the Texas Legislature is working to codify government-provided payroll services for unions.

Senate Bill 557, carried in the House by Democrat State Rep. Joe Moody (El Paso), expands the electronic funds transfer system used by the comptroller to make payments to state employees and agencies and extends it to payroll deductions.

In other words, rather than cutting a check to liberal unions, the state could now send them that cash digitally in what ultimately would amount to a wealth transfer of millions from Texas employees to liberal candidates for use in the 2020 election.

Though State Rep. Phil King (R–Weatherford) drafted an amendment intended to stop the deductions from being sent to unions, he quickly pulled it down after being told the amendment would not prohibit the practice as intended.

“Members, I’m going to pull this amendment down … although I still think it’s a great amendment and I think it would have gone on,” King told the body before withdrawing his amendment.

The bill passed unanimously in both the Texas House and Texas Senate.

Meanwhile, legislators have been silent on efforts to eliminate the practice of using government resources to fund unions and their liberal political arms. Once considered priority legislation by Gov. Greg Abbott as recently as 2017, when he called lawmakers back for a special session, the tone has been completely different this year.

In fact, not a single lawmaker in either the Texas House or Texas Senate even filed the bill.

Public sector unions in Texas are currently given the benefit of using taxpayer resources to collect and pay out their members’ dues—a benefit not afforded in many other states.

Once a government employee joins a public union, the state allows dues to be automatically deducted from employee paychecks and transferred directly to their respective union. In the hands of unions, the funds are primarily utilized to advocate against business-friendly, free market, and pro-taxpayer legislation.

With Democrats aiming to take control of the Texas Legislature in 2020, Texas Republicans are helping facilitate the process.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens

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