As state representatives scattered for the weekend, their leader challenged the governor to put his “right-to-work” proposals into bill form for a vote May 14.  Is House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) calling Gov. Bruce Rauner's bluff? Is this the golden opportunity the governor has been waiting for? Or is it a case of “be careful what you wish for”?
“Well, you never try to outguess the Illinois Speaker of the House, Michael J. Madigan,” opines Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. “But, obviously, the governor has spent way too much time (and) way too much effort attempting to sell ‘right-to-work’ in Illinois.”
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Carrigan says the Fiscal Year 2016 budget has to be the main issue in these final weeks of the spring legislative session, and perhaps the “right-to-work” vote, along with this week’s worker’s compensation hearing and votes against human services budget cuts – all derided by Republicans as Madigan theatrics – are efforts to clear their desks of side issues.
In a news release, Madigan is quoted as saying, “The governor’s proposal will have a significant impact on middle-class families across Illinois. By putting the governor’s proposal to a vote, legislators will have the opportunity to ensure the voices of the middle-class families in their districts are heard.”
The release, which also notes Rauner has not put forth language for a bill, says Rauner’s proposals “would hurt the ability of workers to have an outside party advocate on their behalf.”
Under “right to work” laws, collective bargaining agreements may not contain requirements that workers covered under the contract must be members of the union.
The session is scheduled to adjourn May 31. The fiscal year begins July 1.
(Copyright WBGZ / )