Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME will have an especially dramatic impact in New York, home to the most highly unionized public sector in the country.

This is a groundbreaking win for our state and local government employees. With today’s ruling, these workers can no longer be compelled to financially support unions whose political demands they don’t agree with.

The first to benefit from the ruling will be the 200,000 New York public employees who chose not to join unions but nonetheless have been forced to pay “agency fees” in lieu of union dues. They are now in the position to immediately stop paying those fees, saving them $110 million a year.

Another one million New York state and local government workers joined unions with the knowledge that they would be compelled to pay dues or fees, one way or another. These workers can now exercise their full and unfettered constitutional right of freedom of association by choosing whether to opt out of union membership and dues payments.

For the first time in decades, New York’s government unions will actually have to earn their dues revenues. That’s a win for everyone.

—Tim Hoefer is the executive director of the Empire Center for Public Policy

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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