Conservative groups, unions battle over pay in Pa.

PA-PENNSYLVANIA-MONEY-BUDGE-SURPLUS

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A bill is drawing a network of conservative groups and labor unions into a clash over how millions in union dues payments are collected from Pennsylvania public-sector workers.

With Republicans tasked with defending their control of state government in an election year, the bill’s passage could weaken the ability of labor unions to marshal campaign cash.

House and Senate bills would bar the state, school districts and other government employers from deducting union dues and union political action committee contributions from the paychecks of unionized workers.

By preventing unions from negotiating that benefit into labor contracts, it would effectively make the unions collect the money themselves.

Democrats are opposed. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett says he’d sign it, while top House and Senate Republicans aren’t committing to a vote.

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