The practice by some states of skimming union dues from federal funds appropriated to provide child care to needy families may be successfully ended or reformed by the Trump administration.
Agency guidance, supported by administrative penalties and agency action, will help to protect program beneficiaries and dissuade states from continuing the practice of dues skimming. Though guidance memos lack strict legal enforceability, state agencies often comply with them when issued by federal agencies that provide their funding. Requiring providers to opt in to union deductions on an annual basis is a fair and reasonable way to establish their consent to waive their First Amendment rights, which a recent Supreme Court decision requires.
Enforcement of guidance to this effect would almost certainly be challenged in court, and the outcome of litigation would be uncertain. A rulemaking proposal to prohibit union dues skimming of TANF and CCDF child care funds would be the strongest, most permanent and least assailable course of action for the administration to follow, short of pursuing an act of Congress.