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PHOENIX -- Republicans pushing a ban on automatic deductions of union dues from public employees' paychecks are having a rough time getting legislation through the Senate.

The Senate Committee of the Whole took several votes that saw the anti-union bill fail on Thursday. Two votes saw 17 Republicans and Democrats unite against the measure that would impact police and firefighters unions.

Proponents say employees should be able to voluntarily pay union dues.

House Speaker Andy Tobin has said he was waiting for the Senate to take action on the issue.

The Legislature passed a similar measure in 2011, but the bill exempted public safety from the prohibition. A federal court threw it out.

Last year, a measure that didn't exempt public safety workers passed through the Senate but not the House.

Associated Press,

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