Union arbitration bill would hurt Illinois taxpayers

Union arbitration bill would hurt Illinois taxpayers

If state politicians override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of SB 1229, they would remove even more state spending from taxpayer oversight.

The state of Illinois is into its second month without a budget.

Yet, nearly 85 percent of total operations are funded, with almost no legislatively approved authority, thanks to mandated continuing appropriations, several court decisions and the passage of an education-spending bill on June 24.

Taxpayers elect lawmakers to represent them in a responsible manner – that means passing a balanced budget. If the state can operate without legislative input, that removes taxpayers from the process.

Now House Speaker Mike Madigan is trying to put yet another major spending function into the hands of an unelected person who would have authority to approve millions of dollars in spending.

Madigan is rounding up support to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1229, which would send the final contract negotiations with the American Federation of State, Municipal and County Employees – the largest state government union – to a nonelected arbitrator.

If Madigan has his way, this nearly $4-billion contract would have those workers’ compensation and benefits determined by someone who has no accountability to voters, and who would not face a future election.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board wrote: “If Democratic leaders bring this bill for an override vote, it will be a slap in the face of (those) taxpayers. Fiscally responsible lawmakers understand that. This is their chance to show some courage. Lawmakers, think about all of your constituents. Let the governor’s veto stand.”

Illinois Policy Action is currently working with lawmakers to offer support to them and to their constituents so that they can say “no” to Madigan, and vote to let Rauner’s veto stand.

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