United Way director calling for grassroots action to stop Kansas House payroll deduction amendment

By Staff Reports
March 20, 2015

United Way of McPherson County Director Anne Kirchner sent an email to her donors this morning asking for their assistance in being sure that an amendment to Kansas House Bill 2096 not be included in the final legislation. Below is the text of that correspondence.

"It’s not often that I ask you to get involved with political policy, but it is important to alert you about a current bill being considered at the state level. This bill will negatively affect United Way fundraising abilities across the state. While McPherson County will be affected less than most of our counterparts, we could potentially struggle securing $5,000 to $10,000 associated with our state-related employers. This includes school districts. Following is a description of the House Bill. United Ways are alerting their constituencies and encouraging individuals to make contact with their house representatives and senators. I encourage you to take time TODAY to voice your concern!

House Bill 2096, the bill that disallowed union dues from being mandatorily deducted from paychecks, has suddenly been amended by Senator Baumgartner to disallow all non-benefit package deductions (including United Way elective payroll deducted contributions) from state employee and public schools employee paychecks. This “Gut & Go” version of HB 2096 would impact our local United Way and the hundreds of residents assisted by the United Way network of partner agencies. Of the $210,800 raised by Campaign 2014, more than 40 percent is raised by payroll deduction. Our public school employees give more than $4,000. County and city employees give approximately $6,000. It is currently not clear if county and city employees would be affected by the bill. However, it is certain that public school employees would be affected. This bill has the potential of eliminating 76 donors associated with United Way of McPherson County. Recognize we are on the lower end of the scale. As a whole, United Ways across the state of Kansas are looking at loss of revenue of more than $1,446,439!

HB 2096 is on its way to the house floor as we speak. It is unclear if this will be today or Monday so your immediate action is requested.  Please call House Speaker Ray Merrick and our local representatives to request that Senator Baumgartner’s amended language of the bill be removed, and that public school and state employees be allowed to continue making elective payroll deduction contributions. The time to act is now! Thank you for taking a moment to make that quick call to lend your support – United Ways across the state of Kansas will appreciate your support."

Speaker Ray Merrick • 785-296-2302 • [email protected]

State Senator Rick Wilborn (District 35) • 785-296-7354 • [email protected]

State Representative Les Mason (McPherson) • 785-296-7640 • [email protected]

State Representative Don Schroeder (Moundridge) • 785-296-7500 • [email protected]

State Representative Steven Johnson (Lindsborg) • 785-296-7696 • [email protected]