Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed landmark legislation cutting off an easy source of taxpayer cash for the single biggest funder of liberal politics.
Under Senate Bill 256, signed into law by DeSantis, bans government employee unions from deducting dues directly from members’ paychecks, requiring them to instead voluntarily pay separately.
DeSantis’ move cuts off a major source of revenue for government unions, which have been able to rely on mandatory or coerced funding from unwilling government employees.
“Now you’re in a situation where people get their paycheck. If they want to then take a check and write it to the union, they have every right to do it,” said DeSantis. “But they’ll be doing it with their eyes wide open, and they’ll know exactly how much money they’re talking about.”
“The education unions have been turned into political weapons,” said Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez during the signing ceremony. “They’ve been spreading misinformation on things like the book-ban hoax that we have succinctly debunked, but we also want to make sure that teachers, at the end of the day, have money that’s going into their pockets.”
“Democracy works, and this is union democracy at its best,” said Vincent Vernuccio of Workers for Opportunity, in a statement.
“With this new law, Gov. DeSantis and state legislators are empowering Florida teachers to chart their own path forward and requiring more transparency from the unions that have the privilege of representing those teachers.”
While Floridians and conservatives nationwide support the bill, the move sent liberal activists into a rage.
“This new law grossly oversteps in trying to silence teachers, staff, professors and most other public employees,” Andrew Spar, president of the “Florida Educators Association” government school union, falsely claimed in a statement.
“We can trust teachers to make their own personal choices in how they spend their hard-earned money, and attempting to silence the groups that advocate for better pay and better working conditions is unconstitutional and undemocratic,” Senate Democratic Minority Leader Lauren Book falsely claimed.
Government employee unions are the single largest financial contributor to left-wing candidates and causes, and also a major source of volunteers, staff and manpower. Some government union members may not even be aware dues were being taken from paychecks.
The legislation also requires a government union to make its audited financial records available to the public, and to reapply to be a bargaining agent if less than 60 percent of eligible employees choose to join. Previously, a government union was automatically the bargaining agent against taxpayers, no matter how unpopular or unwanted it was among employees.
Unions for police officers, corrections employees, and firefighters are exempt.