A state lawmaker wants to limit how much public employee unions can donate to statewide office holders. State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) says government employees’ unions have an unfair advantage over business interests, the latter of which have limits on how much they can contribute in campaign donations.
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“We want job creators to feel like their voice is just as loud and just as clear as those on the labor side of the equation,” he says. Vendors with more than $50,000 in state contracts aren’t allowed to donate to candidates and office holders who deal with those contracts. But Murphy says public worker unions can still donate to statewide candidates that deal directly with their employee contracts, often worth much more than $50,000.
“If a company that sells the state copiers can’t donate because it creates a conflict, how can you possibly allow unions negotiating these huge contracts to influence the politicians that approve these contracts?” he says. Murphy says there’s no way under current law to control how much public employee unions can donate to the office holders with whom they’ll negotiate employment contracts, often worth billions of dollars. Murphy’s bill would prohibit such interactions. The bill has been put in a subcommittee. Murphy is not sure how far his bill will get, but he says the future of measures in subcommittees is “unfavorable.”