Fellow Oklahoma Republicans,
As we wrestle with important issues in our state, this year’s legislative session offers some critical reforms that promise to make great improvements to how we govern ourselves in the coming century. Among those reforms is the landmark House Bill 1749.
Authored by Rep. Tom Newell, the bill has passed out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is slated to be heard on the floor of the State Senate. Modeled after the legislative victory by Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature, HB 1749 would end the automatic payroll deductions of dues by public sector unions, a long-standing practice across the country which should be brought to an immediate end.
These types of unions often use their dues to pay lobbyists who in turn pressure the state legislature for increasingly higher appropriations. In essence, taxpayers are paying the salaries of expensive lobbyists who in turn argue for more taxpayer dollars. What’s more, these unions use the dues to dump tens of thousands of dollars into political campaigns to support liberal-regressive candidates who they know will be in favor of milking us as taxpayers for more of our hard-earned dollars. That this is a conflict of interest is obvious.
Gov. Scott Walker
Among the most egregious, the Oklahoma Education Association, the largest public union in the state, uses high-pressure work-site tactics to take money directly from teachers’ paychecks in order to lobby and supposedly campaign for more funding. The problem is that the heavily-funded OEA blocks some of the most important education reforms yet to pass in Oklahoma like school choice. And we, the taxpayers, are funding them. In what world can this be right?
If passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Fallin, this unethical practice will end, and the Oklahoma Republican Party State Executive Committee is in support of that eventuality. I urge all of our fellow Republicans across the state to immediately contact your State Senators and urge them to vote in favor of HB 1749. Oklahomans have the right to join unions and to collectively bargain. And equally, Oklahoma taxpayers have a right to know their own tax dollars won’t be used to stop enhancements that would ultimately benefit our children.