'Right-to-work' bill for lawyers introduced in Lansing

Jan 23, 2014

Credit Thetoad / Flickr

Attorneys would no longer be required to pay membership dues to the State Bar of Michigan, under a new bill in Lansing.

In 2012, the state made it illegal to require workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, making Michigan the 24th right-to-work state.

State Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, introduced a bill today that would extend that same idea to lawyers. He says the State Bar has become a political organization, and its members should also have the choice to leave.

“There’s lots of different things that their members have disagreed with that we’ve heard from their members that said we’d like the freedom not to be able to associate with that,” Meekhof told reporters Thursday.

The State Bar has expressed concerns about a number of high-profile bills that were recently signed into law. Those include an overhaul of the state’s Court of Claims and Sen. Meekhof’s legislation to protect donors that bankroll so-called “issue ads."