News Story

Attorney General Appeals Ruling That Allows SEIU to Keep Taking Dues From Medicaid Checks

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will appeal the federal court ruling that brought back to life the Service Employees International Union's "Home Health Care Dues Skim.” 

On June 20, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled that the state had to keep withdrawing dues money from the Medicaid checks of disabled residents to pay to the SEIU, which had challenged in court the state law that banned the practice.

"Private individuals do not transform into government employees simply by participating in taxpayer-funded programs like Medicaid," Schuette said in a statement. "We will fight to defend state law prohibiting the withholding of public union dues from private citizens who provide home help to the disabled."

The ongoing flow of dues from the taxpayer-provided checks to the union is called the “Home Healthcare Dues Skim.” The “skim” started with a stealth unionization in 2005 while Jennifer Granholm was governor. It has continued in spite of efforts by Schuette, the state legislature and governor to put a stop to it. The SEIU has taken more than $30 million from disabled residents checks.

“This is a welcome development,” Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, said upon hearing news of the appeal.

If Schuette's appeal is successful, it would prevent the union from collecting additional dollars that could be used for political purposes, which the union's lawyer said in court was the reason it needed to collect the money.

The SEIU is promoting a ballot proposal that would lock the scheme into the state constitution if voters approve it in November.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.