Kansas House panel endorses union fundraising bill

January 24, 2013 • Business

Kansas labor union officials Bruce Tunnell, left; Chad Manspeaker, front right, and Colin Curtis, back right, confer as a state House committee considers a bill to prohibit public employee unions from automatically deducting money from members’ paychecks to help finance political activities, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Union officials and their allies see the measure as part of a broader campaign to hamper labor organizations. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas House committee endorsed legislation Thursday to restrict political fundraising by public employee unions, a day after a business lobbyist created a Statehouse stir by remarking during a hearing, “I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions.”

The Republican-dominated Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee approved the measure on a 10-5 vote, sending it to the entire House for debate, possibly next week. Opponents of the bill saw parallels between Kansas and Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker gained national attention for pushing to strip most union workers of their bargaining rights.

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