Legislation to ban automatic union dues deductions from workers' paychecks failed in the Arizona Senate Thursday.

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

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

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 the Senate but not the House.