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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=22609
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 30, 2017 03:11 PM
From: Representative Bryan Cutler
To: All House members
Subject: "Mary's Law"-Formerly House Bill 238
 
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation in the House (Senate), as will our colleagues in the Senate (House), to ensure political campaign funds are no longer collected through government-provided mechanisms with taxpayer resources.

It is a principle of good government that electoral politics are not mixed with official government business. Yet state and local governments in Pennsylvania continue to collect political campaign funds on behalf of public-sector unions—and only public-sector unions. This is wrong.

The issue crystallized recently when Mary—a citizen from Central Pennsylvania, a college professor and a PSEA member of 20 years—received a letter at her home shortly before the most recent gubernatorial election. The letter was addressed to her husband and asked him to “… join Mary in voting for Tom Wolf for Governor on November 4th.” The production of the letter was funded, at least in part, with Mary’s union dues through a “Super PAC.” Mary neither authorized the use of her name, nor was she voting for Mr. Wolf. Yet her dues money—collected by the taxpayers and exploited for political purposes—was used against her wishes and against her will. This is wrong.

Mary was outraged, and many other union members expressed similar outrage to the PSEA as well. This is why we must change the law: to empower and protect Mary—and thousands of other teachers and other public employees like her—from such abuse.

I plan to introduce legislation, to be known as “Mary’s Law,” to right this wrong. Public-sector unions can and will be able to continue collecting and spending political money, but they would simply have to collect and spend it the way everyone else does—without taxpayer support and with the permission of the political donor. By making the laws regarding campaign funding apply equally it would empower and protect teachers like Mary from having her union dues money spent on political purposes with which she disagrees.

The legislation will only apply to public-sector union contracts that currently benefit from this taxpayer-funded legal and financial privilege. Public safety and law enforcement personnel—because they are under different sections of the law—would not be affected, nor would any private sector unions. And this legislation will allow for the collection of 100% of non-political union dues money (i.e., dues money used strictly for collective bargaining purposes, grievances, arbitration, and other non-political uses for the benefit of the members).

It is critical for our Commonwealth that we continue to maintain a clear separation between official government business and electoral politics. Unfortunately, current law allows for public-sector unions—and only public-sector unions—to co-mingle public resources and political funds, and also violate the political speech of public employees like Mary.

This legislation was previously House Bill 238.

FORMER CO-SPONSORS: EMRICK, EVANKOVICH, KNOWLES, GREINER, F. KELLER, DUNBAR, KAUFFMAN, OBERLANDER, TOPPER, BLOOM, McGINNIS, GABLER, MOUL, MUSTIO, TRUITT, DIAMOND, TALLMAN, DUSH, SACCONE, METCALFE, MENTZER, MALONEY, WHEELAND, EVERETT, DELOZIER, MARSICO, GROVE, FEE, GRELL, JAMES, SAYLOR, CHRISTIANA, LAWRENCE, MACKENZIE, MAJOR, HICKERNELL, ZIMMERMAN AND COX



Introduced as HB1174