Paycheck Protection Moves Forward in House

Paycheck Protection Moves Forward in House

67 Percent of Likely Voters Want to End Gov. Union Political Privilege

January 26, 2016, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Paycheck protection is one step closer to reality in Pennsylvania after the House State Government Committee voted today to stop the use of public resources to collect political union dues and campaign contributions. The measure passed the state Senate in October and now moves to the full House.

“Government union leaders have long relied on taxpayer-funded payroll systems to collect union dues earmarked for politics and even direct campaign contributions,” commented Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. “This creates a conflict of interest for those on the receiving end of government union funds and makes taxpayers an unwilling third party to partisan politics.

“We can all agree that public resources should not be used for private, political purposes.”

Polling confirms widespread support for paycheck protection, with 67 percent of Pennsylvanians backing this reform.

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Additionally, 80 percent of union households believe taxpayer resources should not be used to collect campaign contributions, according to a 2014 poll.

Recent political attack ads airing across Pennsylvania underscore the need for paycheck protection. Since December 29, 2015, the union-backed political group America Works USA has spent more than $1.1 million to air misleading ads trashing the state budget as “garbage” and parroting the Wolf administration’s false claim that the budget “cuts education.”

These political ads were paid for using union dues collected through taxpayer funded payroll systems.

  • AFSCME Council 13, representing Pennsylvania state workers, gave $115,000 directly to America Works USA.
  • The National Education Association, the parent union of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, gave $1 million directly to America Works USA.
  • The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) funds America Works USA. Government unions gave nearly $6.5 million to the DGA, according to the latest annual reports filed with the U.S Department of Labor.
  • Last year, the American Federation of Teachers—the parent union of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers—sent just under $1.5 million to the DGA. AFSCME National Headquarters sent more than $4 million.

“If elected officials use public resources for politics, it’s a crime,” Brouillette continued. “The same should be true for government unions. No Pennsylvanian should be forced to fund someone else’s politics.”

For more information on paycheck protection and government union political spending, visit

Matthew Brouillette and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 to schedule an interview.

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The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.