JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The members of the Missouri House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that would protect workers’ paychecks from unwanted union fees that could be automatically deducted and used for political purposes. One of the legislative priorities of House Speaker Tim Jones, the “Paycheck Protection” legislation (HB 1617) was approved by the House by a vote of 83-69. Jones said the bill would ensure workers have the freedom to decide whether to contribute to a union and to determine whether the fees can be used for political purposes.

“As we strive to give Missouri workers the freedom they rightfully deserve, this bill is an important step in the right direction,” said Jones, R-Eureka. “No one should be forced to make compulsory contributions to an organization that will use the funds to support candidates and causes the worker may not support. This is a common sense change that empowers workers to decide if and how their hard-earned dollars can be used by unions.”

The legislation approved by the House would require annual written consent from a public employee before any amount could be withheld from the earnings of the employee for the payment of any portion of dues, agency shop fees, or other fees paid to a public labor organization. The legislation also would require public employee unions to obtain annual written consent in order to spend a portion of the fees on political activities.

The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration. If approved by both chambers it would appear on the August ballot for voter approval.