Bill On Teacher Union Dues Advances To House After An Unusual Vote

Feb 20, 2021

The Indiana House will soon weigh in on whether teachers need extra steps to authorize union dues taken from their paychecks, but it comes after the bill passed the Senate in an unusual way.

The Indiana State Teachers Association is the largest teacher union in the state.
Credit (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

In order to pass a chamber, a bill needs what’s called a “constitutional majority,” meaning a “yes” vote from more than half of all members. When the bill regarding teachers unions was voted on in the Senate Tuesday, it failed to achieve that with just 24 “yes” votes. But since the “no” votes were also shy of a majority, it was brought back on Thursday. Several senators changed their position and it passed 27-22.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Jennifer Smith-Margraf, Indiana State Teachers Association vice president, said her union is being targeted by lawmakers, and will continue to fight the legislation in the House. 

“Educators are watching this bill, among many others, to see what the legislature thinks of teachers,” she said. “Right now this vote shows that they do not respect us.”

Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) is sponsoring the bill in the House. He authored a similar piece of legislation – which was not heard in a committee – that would prohibit districts from facilitating the payment of union dues at all.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.