- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has halted debate on legislation that would curb the ability of public employee unions to collect and spend fees automatically deducted from workers’ paychecks.

The measure taken up and then set aside after five hours of debate Tuesday night would require some employees to give annual written authorization for fees to be deducted directly from their paychecks. Annual consent would also be required for a union to spend fees on political activities.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed similar legislation last year. To bypass another likely veto, this year’s bill would head to the ballot instead of his desk. The legislation would not apply to unions representing first responders.

Senate Republicans have called the measure a priority this year. The House passed a similar version earlier this year.

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