Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state’s largest public employee union should let its members vote on his contract proposals instead of leaning on lawmakers to override his veto of the binding arbitration bill.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees called the vetoed bill fair but Gov. Bruce Rauner said it’s not.

Rauner said legislation he vetoed on Monday would dramatically change the agreed- upon terms in a temporary arrangement in place while a new contract is decided. That agreement says the Illinois Labor Relations Board will review disputes and determine what happens next. That process is underway.

Rauner said AFSCME should hold up its end of the deal instead of pushing for a bill that would let a panel of arbitrators decide contract terms.

AFSCME said a veto override is the only reasonable path forward.

Rauner said the bill would upend the ongoing process and is a dangerous, unprecedented attack on taxpayers.

The union contract demands would cost taxpayers $3 billion over the life of a four-year contract, and Rauner said Illinois taxpayers can’t afford that.

The measure now goes to the House for an attempted veto override.

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Republican Rep. Joe Sosnowki said trying to change the dispute process midstream is pure politics.

“We’ve got to let the process play out,” Sosnowski said. “Any modification or changes in legislation I think are purely political at this point.”  

Chief sponsor Democratic state Rep. Mike Smiddy said lawmakers didn’t think the two sides were at impasse when they failed to override a veto of a similar measure last year. Since then Gov. Rauner has asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board to review negotiations to determine if the two sides are at impasse.

“So I think that has kind of given a little bit more life to the new piece of legislation,” Smiddy said.

A veto override in the House requires 71 votes, the exact number of House Democrats.


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