Paycheck Protection Passes Senate Committee

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

Pa. Gov. Unions Have Spent More Than $95 Million on Politics Since 2007

January 31, 2017, HARRISBURG, Pa.—The Senate State Government Committee today passed paycheck protection, which would end the special privilege that lets government union leaders use public resources to collect money earmarked for politics. Sixty-seven percent of Pennsylvania voters support this good-government reform.

"Since 2007, government union leaders in Pennsylvania have spent more than $95 million on politics—both from members’ mandatory union dues and voluntary campaign contributions—and taxpayers have been forced to help them do it," commented Nathan Benefield, vice president for the Commonwealth Foundation. "It’s a crime for elected officials to use one dollar of public resources for politics. Applying the same principle to government union leaders will restore fairness to the political process and give union members a bigger say in how their money is spent on politics."

SB 166, sponsored by Sen. John Eichelberger, allows government unions to collect and spend political money but prevents them from using government resources to do so. The Senate committee also passed SB 167, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wagner, which proposes amending the state constitution to include paycheck protection.

"By making paycheck protection a priority, lawmakers are showing they are serious about reimagining how Harrisburg works," Benefield continued. "We can all agree that no Pennsylvanian should be forced to fund someone else’s politics. Paycheck protection would end government union leaders’ use of taxpayer resources to fund their political agendas. We anticipate the full Senate will act quickly on this critical reform, and we urge the House to do the same."

For more information on paycheck protection and government union political spending, visit

Nathan Benefield and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 or [email protected] to schedule an interview.

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