Bruce Rauner

Illinois House to Vote on Rauner’s “Right-to-Work” Proposal

Gov. Rauner proposes to create "right-to-work" zones where workers could opt out of unions and paying union fees

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The Illinois House of Representatives will vote Thursday on Gov. Bruce Rauner's contentious "right-to-work" proposal, but the vote may be more of a show of force than an effective move in legislation.

Under the auspices of House Speaker Mike Madigan, the vote is an attempt to prove to Rauner that Illinois does not want to cut costs by cutting unions. Republicans in the House, however, see the vote as "political theater," as Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun-Times purports.

Rauner proposes to allow local governments to permit workers to opt out of unions and paying union fees if they aren't a part of the organization. The bill would create what Rauner has termed "empowerment zones" where union membership is voluntary.

While businesses and non-union members would benefit from the proposal, unions across the state have fought against it.

The bill has not yet been filed with the Legislature, and it's not expected to pass the vote in the House Thursday.

The governor has spent the last several weeks traveling the state and trying to convince communities and lawmakers to get on board with his "Turnaround Illinois" agenda, which includes the "right-wo-work" bill. He even made a stop at a meeting for Chicago's City Council last week and asked the city's aldermen to think about the whole state of Illinois, not just Chicago, when making decisions. 

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