Under current law, members of public employee unions are allowed to “opt
out” of having their dues used for political purposes. Prop. 75 would change
this to an “opt in” process: Members would have to specifically give their
permission. Fees collected for health care, charity and some other purposes
would be exempt.
These signed opt in forms would have to be collected annually and kept on
file with the Fair Political Practices Commission. Prop. 75 also contains
clauses stating that members who opt out could not have fees raised to make
up the difference, or be forced to opt in as a prerequisite for employment.
Supporters of Prop. 75 say that many public employee union members oppose
the political purposes for which their union dues are used, but are too busy
or ill-informed to opt out. Some claim the opt out process allows some union
members to be pressured into continuing political dues giving.
Opponents say that the goal of Prop. 75 is to silence unions by creating an
expensive new layer of bureaucracy preventing them from taking action. They
say a quarter of union members already opt out, and also note that many
public employees to not choose to join the unions.
The independent legislative analyst noted only that that Prop. 75 would have
a very minor fiscal impact on the state.