The deadline is approaching for action on legislation that would cost taxpayers millions of dollars if enacted.
The state Constitution gives the governor 60 days to act on legislation sent to him by the General Assembly. If he does not sign or veto a bill, it becomes law.
Senate Bill 2931, sent May 25, would give home health care workers a $15 an hour minimum wage. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration said that bill would cost the cash-strapped state an additional $87 million a year. Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said that "could lead to cuts or eliminations of other important programs the state provides."
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"It’s unfortunate -- and unprecedented -- that (Service Employees International Union) is trying to legislate a wage increase and other items the parties are currently negotiating as part of collective bargaining," Kelly said.
Senate Bill 2536 would increase wages to $15 an hour for child care workers during mandatory training.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, previously said the bills could make SEIU the training organization and deliver a captive audience for new members.
“The child care industry, the daycare providers, the home health care providers, this is a market, if you will -- I hate to kind of commoditize it -- but it’s a market that organized labor has been after for a long time,” Mix said.
Senate Bill 2964, sent May 26, would require the state to make localities' prevailing wage rates
what collective bargaining wages are, if those wages cover a third of the workforce.
Kelly said the bill "would remove the ability for the department to maintain the ability to determine the most appropriate survey methods for determining prevailing wage rates."
Kim Maisch, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, has said the prevailing wage measure would increase business costs and the price of public works projects.
“That’s why if we have some flexibility in how we determine prevailing wage, we believe strongly that we would have more money available for school construction and other types of things that clearly we don’t have the money for now,” Maisch said.