When managing a tight budget, cutting unnecessary expenses is a good place to start. House Bill 3111, filed by state Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, would end the state government’s role in collecting dues for labor unions. Currently, state agencies and school boards use automatic payroll deductions for Oklahoma Public Employees Association membership dues and Oklahoma Education Association contributions. While processing the payroll deductions doesn’t cost the state millions, bank drafts and automatic credit card charges are two alternatives with zero cost to the state. “This modernizes state government and takes advantage of the advances in financial technology that will allow unions to continue to collect dues in an efficient manner without the State of Oklahoma paying to be the middle man,” Hickman said. Taxpayers should appreciate the prospect of anything free, and we hope this effort to join the 21st century finds favor with legislators.