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Michigan kills paycheck protection for teachers

Sen. McBroom votes with Democrats to pass bill, giving it the dint of bipartisanship

Michigan public schools can now use their resources to facilitate union membership, after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed House Bill 4233 into law. Thus ends the era of paycheck protection for teachers in Michigan, which had been the law for a decade.

Under the old system, signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2012, public school teachers could cut a check to their unions at their own discretion. Now the deduction takes place via direct deposit, facilitated by the school itself, letting the union be paid simultaneously with the employee.

Democrats control both houses of the legislature by two-vote margins: 56-54 in the House and 20-18 in the Senate. Though the Democrats did not need Republican help to pass the bill, one Republican senator, Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, voted along with them. The rest of the Republican caucus voted no except Sen. Dan Lauwers, who did not vote.

Read it for yourself: House Bill 4233 of 2023

With McBroom’s vote, Democrats can claim the mantle of bipartisanship.

On Twitter, the Senate Minority Leader, Aric Nesbitt, R-Porter Township, railed against a package of labor bills Whitmer signed Wednesday. House Bill 4233 was one of them.

“The priorities of Gov. Whitmer and legislative Democrats are made more clear every day; they turn a blind eye to parents and students, while putting their hand on the scale for union bosses,” Nesbitt wrote.

The bill was introduced by State Rep. Jaime Churches, D-Wyandotte, on March 9.

According to the House Fiscal Agency analysis, under “brief rationale”:

According to testimony, the standard model for a school aiding a labor organization in collecting dues or service fees is a one-time transfer of information from the school to their teacher's union. Reportedly, in practice, this prevents a teacher from having to walk around the school and collect information to send to the teacher's union, freeing up valuable time and ensuring a more efficient process for the union.

Is it the job of government institutions to “ensure a more efficient process for the union”?

Sen. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, said during a June 28 floor speech:

Does it help teachers or other union represented workers? There might be a convenience factor, but other than that I don’t see much of a tangible benefit. Does this change help kids? No. And that is the problem with this bill and this legislative package. In fact, it’s a problem with the approach the Democrats have taken to labor law all year. These changes are designed to benefit the organization and leadership of unions. These changes are designed to help with their political fundraising, the workers themselves in this case—Michigan schoolchildren as well—are just an afterthought.

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.