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Union-related bill gets Arizona Senate initial OK

The Arizona Senate on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a bill that a critic called an attack on government employee unions.

The bill now awaiting a formal Senate vote would prohibit deductions from government employees’ paychecks for unions and most other outside groups without annual authorizations.

Gilbert Republican Sen. Andy Biggs said his bill is intended to make it easier for workers to halt dues deductions if they quit unions.

Democratic Sen. Steve Gallardo of Phoenix said the bill is designed to weaken unions and their representation of government workers.

The Senate postponed action on a separate bill to prohibit a government employer from paying an employee for union activities.

Two other bills related to public employee unions have not yet been scheduled for Senate consideration.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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