The day has grown long as the House debates the four bills originating in the Senate. They started this morning on SB2 and have continued to debate this bill throughout the day. SB2 concerns the practice of allowing payroll deduction for political dues for employees of the state. I’ve been on the House floor off and on throughout the day, listening to the debate and comparing thoughts with Representatives from the North Alabama Delegation. The predominant concern of the opposition continues to be centered on perceived political aspects of the bill. The democrats in the House are posturing a similar argument heard in the Senate; the bill is not an ethics issue and therefore should not be considered in the Special Session. I maintain that the wasteful spending of tax payer dollars (and again, I’m a taxpayer…) is gravely unethical and therefore this is clearly an ethics issue. I’ve also heard from the democrat side that SB2 limits a group’s voice in the political process. I disagree as SB2 does not impede anyone from contributing to any organization, paying dues or otherwise. I would not support any legislation that limits someone’s voice in the political process; not only would that be un-Constitutional it is also unconscionable! I maintain that several means are available for employees to make those contributions including bank draft, debit card deduction or, simply writing a check.
As the basis of my reasoning I submit the following personal example: My wife works for a nationwide financial firm and belongs to a nationwide organization of executives with local chapters across the country. She pays dues to the organization through a personal check. She does not have the option of paying her dues via payroll deduction. Why? Because there is no benefit to the firm she works for to allow the process of payroll deduction. By not allowing payroll deduction, is the firm restricting her rights? Is the firm squelching her voice? No. There is simply no benefit to the firm to provide this option to her. Another factor, the process of allowing payroll deduction will cost the firm something but returns no value. On the other hand, the firm allows payroll deduction for healthcare and insurance. Why? Because these are benefits to the employee and thereby benefit the firm. My vote in support of SB2 was not from a political position but rather from a best use of tax payer dollars position. In my example above, the firm is the state of Alabama. Continuing to collect dues for political purposes via state payroll deduction does not benefit the state nor does it benefit the tax payers at large.