Gov. Bruce Rauner had a busy itinerary in his trip to Washington D.C. this week.
It included his first meeting with President Donald Trump and a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rauner made sure he was inside the court to witness in person the oral arguments for Janus vs. AFSCME.
He believes the government unions should not force union members to pay fees, that may be used for political action committees. He sees those fees as a corruption issue. The unions--while big supporters of Democratic candidates--disagree strongly with Rauner.
"If a government employee or teacher chooses to join a union, that's fine, this will not change that," he told reporters. "But they will not be forced against their will to support a union that they may disagree with."
Democratic opponents for governor reacted strongly. JB Pritzker said our failed govenror is going to extreme lengths to implement his far right-wing agenda to destroy our labor movement, and he's partnered with none other than Donald Trump.
Daniel Biss said we must ensure employees have the power to negotiate for fair pay and scheduling, good benefits and for safe working conditions.
Chris Kennedy also weighed in.
“I think we need to recognize that the two greatest contributors to the American Dream in the 20th Century was organized labor and the rising minimum wage,” he said. “And somehow we need to protect both of those things.”
While Rauner skipped Trump's governor's ball last year, he attended with his wife Sunday night, saying his interaction with the president was mostly social.
“I did get quite a bit of time with Vice President Pence,” Rauner said. “He spent a lot of time with me personally and with us as governors—he spent much more time with us than the president did.”
Rauner's primary opponent, Jeanne Ives, reacted to the governor's D.C. visit as well.
“He is getting a lot of bad press from Republicans state-wide who feel like he will not say Donald Trump’s name,” Ives said.
As for the Supreme Court case, Attorney General Lisa Madigan disagreed with Rauner, and defended the agency fees before the high court saying this is about right-wing extremists who want to eliminate unions throughout the country.