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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Unions Lose, Illinois Governor Wins In Close Vote


Government labor unions lost a fight with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday.

AFSCME and other unions say the governor is making unreasonable demands in contract negotiations. But the governor and like-minded Republicans, such as Representative Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, say unions are asking for more than Illinois can afford.

"Some of you are going to be winners, and some of you are going to be losers,” Ives said. “And what you're going to lose is your livelihood, because there's no other way to pay for this."

The unions pushed legislation that would let an arbitrator resolve contract disputes, but the governor vetoed it. Democrats tried — and failed — to override his veto yesterday.

Illinois AFL CIO President Michael Carrigan says the governor "poisoned the well" and "wants conflict, not compromise." For his part, Rauner thanked legislators who "stood with taxpayers."

House Speaker Michael Madigan had a different take.

"This will be a significant step by the governor in what I would fear will be an effort to bring down wages and standard of living," Madigan said.

Madigan says he had just enough votes lined up — but one Democrat, Rep. Ken Dunkin of Chicago, didn't show up.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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