LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether public school districts can administer payroll deduction plans that funnel money to the Michigan Education Association's political action committee, Michigan Public Radio reported.

Many collective bargaining agreements between teachers unions and school districts call for the districts to administer the deductions on behalf of the MEA PAC, the report said.

Michigan Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land says in a lawsuit that the practice violates state law prohibiting the use of government resources for political purposes, according to Michigan Public Radio.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a brief in support of Land's position, Michigan Public Radio reported.

"This entire system can be run without having any kind of government imprint or resources used for it. So we think that would be the better course," Patrick Wright, the Center's senior legal analyst and director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, told Michigan Public Radio.

Lower courts have split on the case, which business and union groups both are closely following, according to Michigan Public Radio.

The Mackinac Center publishes Michigan Education Digest.

SOURCE:
Michigan Public Radio, "Michigan Supreme Court to hear arguments over MEA PAC money," Nov. 4, 2010

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Mackinac Center Amicus Curiae Brief to Michigan Supreme Court in Michigan Education Association v. Michigan Secretary of State"

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