May 30, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfield, IL – The Illinois House on May 25 failed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would have required expired contracts with state employees to be sent to arbitration.
The 69-48 vote to override fell two votes short of the three-fifths majority needed. The bill, which was backed by House Democrats and public-employee unions, would have sent contracts that expired any time between June 30, 2015, and June 30, 2019, to an independent arbitrator, who would decide which side had made the more reasonable offer, issue by issue. In exchange, the unions would have given up their right to strike, said state Rep. Chris Welch, the bill’s sponsor. Rauner’s administration has walked out of talks with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which represents 38,000 state workers, and is seeking to have an impasse declared, which would enable him to impose his contract terms unilaterally. “We are deeply disappointed in the 48 legislators in the House today who failed to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the fair arbitration bill,” Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said in a statement. “They sided with the governor against the people of Illinois and against the public service workers who protect kids, care for veterans and the disabled, respond to emergencies, and keep us safe.” Read more