Rauner labor bill veto survives House override vote

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Illinois House Democrats were back in Springfield Wednesday; at the top of their agenda was a vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a key labor bill. (WLS)

Illinois House Democrats were back in Springfield Wednesday; at the top of their agenda was a vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a key labor bill.

For the time being, Rauner has survived another day with all of his power intact. House Speaker Michael Madigan was unable to get the 71 votes he needed to override the governor's veto of the controversial Senate Bill 12-29.

The measure was never called for a vote. It's the bill passed by both the House and Senate last spring that, in effect, removes the governor from his role in negotiating new contracts with the state's largest labor unions and replaces him with an arbitrator.

The bill would also sunset in 2018, the same year Republican Rauner's current term expires.

After vetoing 12-29, Rauner has lobbied furiously against what he calls Madigan's attempt to take away gubernatorial control of contract talks as the public sector unions have launched their own effort supporting the override.

"We as unions will give up our right to strike if we can have a neutral arbitrator to decide on a reasonable agreement for both sides on these labor contracts," said John Cameron, AFSCME 31.

"It's an awful precedent, the idea that a government union loses an election and changes law for one governor's term only just because they didn't like the outcome. This is not good public policy," said Christina Rasmussen, Illinois Policy Institute.

"12-29 is the last resort, all other remedies have been exhausted," said Michael Carrigan, Illinois AFL-CIO.

"We're changing the rules of the game midstream during negotiations, it's wrong, it shouldn't happen in this body, it shouldn't happen anywhere in the United States," said State Rep. Jim Durkin, Illinois House Minority Leader.

The Democrats needed all 71 members of their super-majority to override the governor. They could only muster 70 because South Side Rep. Ken Dunkin did not show up.

Meanwhile, it appeared suburban Democrats who represent districts carried by Republican Rauner last year were kept in line by the powerful Madigan.

"It's just part of politics. It's what you sign up for. It happens," said State Rep. Carol Sente, Vernon Hills.

The Republican leader was asked if he had threatened to expel any members of his caucus who would vote to override the veto.

"If there is going to be a situation where a member does vote contrary to the caucus, we will deal with it internally," Durkin said.


Related Topics:
politicspoliticslabor unionsBruce Rauner
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