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Sneaky Buggers: PA GOP Tries – And Fails – to Pass 'Paycheck Deception' Amendment

In Pennsylvania, the State Senate voted against an amendment to an unrelated bill that would have disallowed unions from automatically deducting dues from paychecks. The amendment failed on a 20-28 vote. 

Considering Republicans have a 27-23 majority in the State Senate, the news was novel and encouraging. Six Republicans voted with Democrats on the issue. Five of these Republicans were from moderate Philadelphia suburbs and another was from Allentown.  

The “paycheck protection” amendment — labor organizations typically refer to such efforts as “paycheck deception” — actually dealt with whether schools would be allowed to obtain prescriptions for students who need allergy-related EpiPens. With the legislative session in its final days, the amendment was viewed by many as a last ditch Republican hail mary to score anti-union points and bolster right-leaning resumes before the election. 

Sen. Scott Wagner called the amendment a “victory” despite its outcome. He promised to bring up the issue next session, saying: “We voted on something. That’s a big deal. “We’re not going away, trust me. I’m going to be like the worse case of poison ivy.”

David Broderic, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, called the attempted amendment an “attack on working Pennsylvanians,” adding, “We’re just pleased that a majority of Senate members believe this is a bad policy idea and the wrong direction to take Pennsylvania.”

Sen. Mike Stack, who is currently running for Lt. Governor, called the attempt a “clumsy assault on middle-class workers wilted and died because the claims of its proponents were rooted in politics and paranoia rather than facts and common sense.”

The original bill, without the unnecessary anti-union amendment, passed 48-0.  It now goes to the House for approval. 

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