State seeks outside help in defending union dues position

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s office is seeking to hire outside attorneys to help defend his decision that changes are needed in the way Alaska collects union dues.

A request for proposals, issued Thursday, estimates a budget of $500,000 to $600,000 for the work.

In an early blow to the state, a judge has granted a public employee union’s request to block while the case is heard implementation of Clarkson’s opinion and a subsequent administrative order from Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Clarkson said the state isn’t fully compliant with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

Superior Court Judge Gregory Miller, in a preliminary ruling, said the state’s new policy is “unsupported by applicable case law.”