Paycheck protection legislation, known as “Mary’s Law,” was officially introduced in the state House of Representatives as HB 238. With the backing of 39 co-sponsors, Mary’s Law seeks to end the taxpayer-funded collection of union political money.
Mary’s Law is named after Mary Trometter, a PSEA member from Williamsport who saw the union use not only her dues, but her name in endorsing a candidate she didn’t support. You can watch her story here.
Recently the PA Independent highlighted the questionable nature of the PSEA’s political activities under current law, noting that the PSEA has been ignoring reporting requirements for 40 years.
Trometter filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in November. Her attorney, David Osborne of The Fairness Center, argues that the NEA letter and PSEA publications supporting Wolf’s candidacy are illegal under a 1970 state law.
The law says unions cannot use organization funds to make contributions in support of a political candidate, and they must report violations to the state within 90 days, he argued.
The PSEA and NEA responded that the letter and pro-Wolf material in a PSEA magazine are not contributions.
The passage of Mary’s Law is a matter of ethics, as Reps Cutler, Evankovich, and Knowles write in a recent op-ed. The bill would ensure that public resources are never used for politics and would empower union members by requiring union officials to directly seek support for political activities.