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Kan. House panel to debate union fundraising bill

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas House committee is preparing to debate a bill to prevent public employee unions from automatically deducting money from members' paychecks to finance political activities.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/WnQGlh ) that the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee was taking up the bill Thursday, a day after a contentious hearing with business advocates and labor union representatives.

Republican legislators and business groups supporting the measure contend it will protect workers from having to contribute to political activities they don't support. They say workers who support unions' activities can still write checks themselves.

But labor officials say joining their organizations and paycheck deductions are voluntary and see the real goal as crippling their fundraising.

Democrats and GOP moderates blocked such a measure in 2011.