Rauner’s Veto Saves Local Right to Work

Posted by Olivia Grady on Monday, November 13th, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Permalink

General Assembly fails to override veto again

On November 7, 2017, the Illinois General Assembly failed a second time to override Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s September 29th veto of the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act (Senate Bill 1905).

The act would have banned local governments from passing Right to Work in their cities and counties and criminalized local leaders who enacted Right to Work legislation.

Although representatives voted 70 – 39 to override the veto, 71 votes were needed to successfully override the veto. The Illinois Senate had already voted 42-13 on October 24th to override the veto.

Interestingly, Democrats introduced this bill after Lincolnshire County passed local Right to Work in 2015. However, Judge Matthew Kennelly of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois found the local Right to Work legislation unconstitutional on January 7th, ruling that only states have this power.

Judge Kennelly ruled this way despite the fact that on November 18, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of local Right to Work. Although the Sixth Circuit does not include Illinois, its ruling is persuasive for Illinois courts. Later, on October 2, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the Sixth Circuit’s ruling.

Governor Rauner issued a statement after the House failed to override his veto:

"In a victory for the people, the House of Representatives today kept the door open to stronger job growth in Illinois. Courageous House lawmakers joined together to make Illinois more competitive so local communities can continue to decide how to make their economies stronger, help their businesses grow and give individual workers the freedom to support a union as they choose.” 

The Center for Worker Freedom applauds Governor Rauner on his support for worker freedom.

With his veto, local governments can pass Right to Work, allowing workers to choose whether to join a union or not. In addition, Right to Work leads to economic growth and lower unemployment rates.

Governor Rauner has also supported worker freedom by initiating the Janus v. AFSCME case, now before the U.S. Supreme Court. A ruling supporting Janus could give all government employees the choice of whether to pay union fees or not.