Illinois House

Madigan Fails to Override Rauner's Veto of Labor Bill in House Vote

The bill — Senate Bill 1229 — would have stripped the governor of his negotiating ability in public sector union contracts

The Illinois House was unable to gather the votes Wednesday needed on a labor bill that pits Gov. Bruce Rauner against Speaker Mike Madigan.

Madigan failed to garner the three-fifths majority to override the governor's veto, despite the fact that the Illinois Senate overrode it last month. He needed 71 votes to defeat Rauner but only got 68.

"My concern with the failure of this motion is that it would be a significant step by the governor to lower wages and the standard of living for middle-class families," Madigan said after the vote.

Rauner said the vote was "encouraging," but he did not call it a victory.

"While House members chose to help us avoid digging a deeper financial hole, we still have a lot of work to do and time is of the essence," Rauner said in a statement. "We have now entered our third month without a balanced budget, which only the legislature can pass, and court orders have shown that I can't simply reduce the budget and balance it without legislative changes."

The Illinois House needed every Democrat in Springfield in order to override the veto, but one key member was missing — Rep. Ken Dunkin, who attended a jobs conference in New York and skipped the vote in Springfield. 

If the House had overturned the governor's veto, unions like AFSCME would have been prohibited from going on strike or being locked out. Instead, a mediator would intervene. If there was no agreement after 30 days, either side could call on an arbitrator, who would have the authority to pick either side's proposal.

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