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Union dues bill rears its head as amendment

Here it comes again. A bill to ban public employee unions from using payroll deduction to collect their dues was considered all but dead on Wednesday when Senate leaders couldn’t get the votes to pass it.

Now comes amendments in the House and Senate on a slew of bills that impose the same restrictions on unions and require that they get annual written permission from every member to use dues for political purposes.

The irony: the amendments are attached to bills filed by Sens. Jim Norman and Jack Latvala, two of the staunch opponents of the union dues bill. (Norman’s is on SB 982 and HB 241.)

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the House sponsor of the anti-union bill, has filed amendments to the House companions of Norman’s bill related to wage theft, which is scheduled for a floor vote.

“I’m will not accept them,’’ Norman said of the amendments. But if they get voted on against his wishes, the Senate “will still have 24 votes against the bill.”

 It’s more fun and games in the week-long saga of bill trading as  an increasingly divided Senate fails to deliver the votes for Republican leaders on a handful of politically-charged bills.