Gov. Bruce Rauner’s response to Democratic resistance to collective bargaining changes: you’ve done them before.
As part of Rauner’s renewed push for Democrats to back his legislative agenda as part of a deal to end the budget impasse, he’s pointing to several instances where the city of Chicago has asked for and received limits on collective bargaining for public sector unions.
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“Whenever Chicago needs to do something, they’ve got Democrats in the General Assembly and Democrats here in Chicago that have taken things out of length of school day, length of school year, layoffs of Chicago teachers. Whenever they’ve needed something out, they take it out,” Rauner said.
Rauner says those votes disprove the notion that supporting his proposal would “go against the core beliefs of the Democratic Party.”
While Rauner is proposing taking work schedules or matters of employee tenure out of collective bargaining, but his plan would also prohibit bargaining over wages and retirement benefits.
Those changes, along with term limits and redistricting reform, are what Rauner now wants passed in exchange for him agreeing to a tax hike for the current fiscal year’s budget.
“How about that? All we’re doing is empowering local voters. We focus just on those and then work with a budget, we would do that,” Rauner said. “So far, they’ve refused to allow a vote on any one of those issues, and that’s the problem.”
The last concrete proposal Rauner made on August 17 centered on a property tax freeze, while term limits and redistricting weren’t mentioned.