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AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to ending voluntary payroll deductions of union dues from state and public employee paychecks.

Houston Republican Sen. Joan Huffman says the government shouldn’t be in the business of collecting union dues. But her bill still allows payroll deductions for charities and for unions for first-responder groups, like police and firefighters.

Huffman fought off attempts by Democrats to allow public school teachers to have their union’s dues automatically collected from their paychecks.

Labor groups oppose the measure as an attack on unions.

It passed 20-11 Wednesday along party lines within the Senate’s Republican majority. A final vote sending the bill to the state House could come as early as Thursday.

A similar measure passed the Senate in 2015, but never got a House vote.

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