I suppose its never too early in the punditry business to conjecture how an action might affect future political efforts—even if that action hasn’t occurred yet—but considering the busy ballot likely facing California voters in November, one wonders what happens if the U.S. Supreme Court decides in June to release public employees from paying mandated union agency fees in the Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association case?

Many experts say that a June decision will have little effect on what the California Teachers Association and other public unions decide to fund in November. Certainly, much of the political kitties will be in place by then.

However, looking down the road the unions will be concerned with what they may have in reserves for future campaigns and there may be a desire to husband resources.

The big issue for teachers on the November ballot will be the extension of the Proposition 30 taxes, much of which will go to schools and teachers. Depending on how much opposition is thrown against Prop 30 could determine how much the teachers and others plan to spend in support—but it will be a top priority.

There is also the legislature to consider and many candidates to support or oppose.

However, the CTA also knows if the Supreme Court rules against them, there will not be as much money for political efforts next time. When the state of Michigan became a right to work state allowing teachers to opt out of the union the Michigan Education Association lost thousands of members. The CTA has been preparing for this possibility, issuing a report titled: Not if but when: Living in a world without Fair Share.

Analyzing the political landscape, therefore, may be more than considering how to address the 2016 ballot but looking down the road at the 2018 ballot as well.

Business interests are concerned that a weakened public sector may decide to throw support to a candidate who can self-fund a gubernatorial race on the theory that union money would not be as readily available. I believe they are thinking of you, Tom Steyer. In fact, the environmental activist Mr. Steyer may be looking at other initiatives he can help bankroll this November to build his gubernatorial credentials.

Beyond that, especially for the teachers union, the Superintendent of Public Instruction seat opens up in 2018. The last election for that office saw a bruising campaign between successful incumbent, Tom Torlakson, backed by the unions, and Marshall Tuck, backed by some business interests and reformers. Without the union resources the result could be different for Tuck should he choose to try again.

Already the potential for a Supreme Court decision in favor of Friedrichs has changed the dynamics of both the 2016 and 2018 election. Pension reformers former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio announced that they would not pursue their pension reform initiative this year but wait until 2018. One reason: “By then we will know the outcome of a key court case that might limit the public employee unions’ capacity to spend ‘unlimited’ resources against pension reform,” the pair wrote.

Of course, a court decision for Friedrichs doesn’t ban agency fees. In fact, the unions can thrive as long as members think the union is doing a good job in showing their value to workers.

But just in case that positive attitude does not prevail, some long term planning is probably going on even before the Supreme Court hands down its decision.