The Alabama House of Representatives gaveled in at 10:00 am yesterday morning, and a Democrat filibuster of SB 2 almost automatically ensued. 15 hours later Republicans broke the filibuster, and passed SB 2 by a vote of 52-49. Thirteen Republicans, including the three who recently switch parties, broke ranks and voted with the Democrats against the bill.
SB 2, also known as the “Check-Off Bill”, prevents the use of state resources on political activities. In practice, this means that the state will no longer be allowed to collect dues for organizations like the Alabama Education Association (AEA) or the Alabama State Employees Association (ASEA), which they are currently collecting through automatic payroll deductions.
Democrats claimed the bill was politically motivated to diminish the power of AEA who is traditionally supportive of Democrat candidates. Rep. Lynn Greer was asked repeatedly how much it cost the state to collect the dues. Greer didn’t have a specific number, but insisted it cost the state something. The debate over cost proves that Democrats continue to miss the point. $1 is too much for the state to pay to collect political dues. Taxpayers should not be forced to finance/facilitate the funding of AEA or ASEA’s political organizations. There are a lot of worthy organizations in the state, and most of them don’t get to have dues taken out of their members’ paychecks automatically.
Members of these organizations are 100% free to speak their mind and can continue to donate to the organization. The bill does not take anyone’s rights away. It simply removes the burden from the state of collecting the money.
For more information on SB 2, click here.