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Illinois Democrats Shoot Down Right-To-Work Proposal

Amanda Vinicky
/
Illinois Public Radio

Illinois lawmakers say “no” to Governor Rauner’s union opt-out plan. Well, Democrats said “no.” Republicans, except for one “no” vote, opted to vote “present.”

Democrats in the Illinois House have voted down a plan similar to Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to allow local governments to permit workers to opt out of unions. The entire Republican caucus -- with the exception of one member --- voted present because they said the vote was a “political sham.'' That's because Democrats pushed ahead with the vote, even though the Governor never even filed the bill.

Democrats like Representative Brandon Phelps argued the proposal would hurt middle class families. He urged fellow lawmakers to vote no, saying, “today we aren’t voting for union members. We are voting for all workers.”

Rauner has toured Illinois touting his idea of local "empowerment zones.'' The zones would allow voters to make union membership voluntary at unionized workplaces. It's a key part of pro-business reforms Rauner wants passed in exchange for new revenue to help close a $6 billion budget gap. 

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.