Sorry unionists, party’s over.

TALLAHASSEEThe Florida House delivered a major blow to public employee unions Friday, approving a bill that would ban automatic dues deduction from a government paycheck and require members to sign off on the use of their dues for political purposes.

Democrats and Republicans fought over the legislation for just under two hours. Democrats and labor unions have accused conservatives of “union-busting” and said the bill was more about political payback than public policy. Unions have typically been big backers of Democratic candidates.

Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, the House sponsor of the legislation, said this was simply the state’s movement to get out of the dues deduction business and let the unions take care of it.

“It’s a bill that empowers membership of labor unions,” Dorworth said.

The measure, HB 1021, passed by a 73-40 vote, with three Republican lawmakers siding with the Democrats.

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