Readers’ Forum

Payroll bill

Dear editor:

With all of the problems we face in Pennsylvania, why are some legislators trying to make bills that would prohibit voluntary payroll deductions their top priority?

It doesn’t make sense to me, unless you consider what’s really behind these schemes.

First of all, payroll systems are highly automated, and there’s almost no cost to taxpayers to allow payroll deductions for people like teachers, nurses, and public safety workers to pay their union dues.

Second, employers already set up payroll deductions for things like the United Way, credit unions, health insurance, and employee retirement plans. No one seems to have any trouble with that.

But Gov. Tom Corbett and his legislative allies are pushing bills to prohibit voluntary payroll deductions, for two simple reasons to silence the voices of workers, and to support right-wing special interest groups and their wealthy funders.

Pennsylvania is just the latest state for this political scheme.

Out-of-state billionaires and corporate special interest groups, who are working behind the scenes in Harrisburg, have pushed similar legislation in other states. Here in Pennsylvania, one of the front groups is the right-wing Commonwealth Foundation, which refuses to publicly disclose its wealthy supporters.

The governor and the General Assembly need to stop this attack on the middle class, and get back to work on solving Pennsylvania’s real problems, like jobs, education, and health care.


Louise Tharp

Jamestown, N.Y.