HB2023 was debated and passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday of this week.
Many have expressed concerns that the government should not be in the business of facilitating political contributions.
Because I support that notion I did vote in support of this bill. Public sector employees may still have union dues withheld from their payroll checks. Only contributions to political action committees will be prohibited. Employees are still free to make personal contributions to political action committees.
Nothing in the legislation limits anyone from speaking out in any way they see fit, nor from contributing as much money as they wish to the political cause of their choosing. In short, the policy advanced by this legislation is one of government neutrality toward political speech. Similar legislation to HB2023 passed in Idaho was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009. The court indicated “that the state is under no obligation to aid the unions in their political activities. And the states decision not to do so is not an abridgment of the unions speech; they are free to engage in such speech as they see fit. They simply are barred from enlisting the State in support of that endeavor”.
In summary, I feel that this bill is a reasonable compromise that protects the right of public employees to support political action committees while preserving the concept of government neutrality toward political speech.
The 2013 session is becoming very busy as more bills are being passed out of committee. I appreciate the opportunity to represent the 77th District. Please call if you have issues of importance. 1-785-296-6989.