By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — The issue of whether government payroll deductions to collect union dues should be allowed to continue began to heat up in the state capitol last week.

Supporters of a bill to end the practice of deducting union dues from government employees’ paychecks rallied in the capitol last week.

Lancaster County House Republican Brian Cutler argued that government is collecting money that is used for political purposes.

Cutler says, “we all have the right to engage in the political process. But I also believe we should all do it on our own time and our own dime.”

The issue was also the subject of a House hearing and debate on the Senate floor, where Allegheny County Democrat Jay Costa, the Senate minority leader, shot back at supporters of the bill:

“This is part of a plan to stifle and quiet the voice of people in this Commonwealth, regardless of how they mask it.”

Spokesmen for both the House and Senate majority leaders indicate that it’s not clear whether there will be action on the legislation before summer recess.

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