(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – On Thursday, the Arkansas State House voted 70-11 to pass the Freedom Foundation’s “Teacher Paycheck Protection Bill,” sending the measure to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her signature.
The measure marks the Freedom Foundation’s first successful legislation to expand the rights of public employees, and faced fierce opposition from the teachers’ unions across Arkansas.
“It’s 2023. With the technology available, there is absolutely no reason for the state to act as the bill collector for teachers’ unions,” explained Rusty Brown, Freedom Foundation southern director. “I hate seeing teachers and lawmakers being led to believe this is an attack on teachers. The only effect on teachers will be an increase in their paycheck when the dues stop being deducted. And if they choose to join and pay some other way, they are free to do so. Changing payment systems has become a common practice for a wide variety of memberships, subscriptions and utilities.”
“Furthermore,” Brown continued, “the National Education Association, to which the Arkansas state union sends its dues money, brings in well over half a billion dollars a year. One third of the money being collected by the state is being sent out of state to union headquarters in D.C. to fund a radical political agenda and line the union bosses’ pockets.”
The Arkansas legislation, Senate Bill 473, was authored by state Sen. Joshua Bryant (R-Rogers) and sponsored in the House by state Rep. Grant Hodges (R-Centerton).