Oklahoma State Senate passes bill requiring school districts to ask employees if they want to pay association dues

Oklahoma Politics
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Oklahoma flags blowing in the wind at Capitol

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill Thursday that would require school districts throughout the state to ask employees once a year if they want to continue having association dues deducted from their paychecks.

Senate Bill 634 was written by Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville.

The bill requires school districts to ask employees once a year if they want to continue to have association dues deducted from their paychecks, according to a State Senate news release.

Daniels said the legislation springs from the Janus v. AFSCME decision, which says employers are required to fully inform employees of their rights and give them a chance on a regular basis to opt out of paying dues. 

“There must be evidence of consent, so the bill provides for a reauthorization form to be signed by the employee and returned to the employer,” the news release states.

Janus v. AFSCME applies to professional associations directly affiliated to national organizations. Such associations in Oklahoma are the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), according to the news release.

“Included in our First Amendment free speech rights is a right not to be compelled to support speech with which we disagree. Since groups like the OEA, AFT and their national organizations are engaged in a variety of political activities, this reauthorization reminds employees of this aspect of their free speech rights,” Daniels said.

SB 634 requires employers to send employees a reauthorization form for dues on an annual basis, which the employee must sign and return for automatic deduction of dues to continue.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.  Rep. Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, is the principal author of the bill in the House.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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