A majority of lawmakers in the Illinois House don’t think workers should have a choice whether they want to join a union as a condition of employment with a measure to allow right-to-work zones failing Thursday. The measure brought forward by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan was described by other democrats as resembling language from Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda.

Rauner has toured the state encouraging local governments to support the idea of allowing them to opt in to being welcome to open shops but hasn’t proposed official language. The more than 90 minute debate saw lawmakers crying, singing, and screaming, but ultimately the measure failed with zero “yes” votes, 72 “no” votes, and 37 “present” votes. Nine lawmakers didn’t vote at all. Democrats, who all voted no, said the amendment was an attack on the working class. Republicans, all but one either voting present or not voting, said the amendment was political theater.


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