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JB Pritzker

A Constitutional Ban on Right to Work

Illinois is considering adding a ban on right to work to the state constitution

Brian Young's picture
Jan 27, 2020

In April, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a ban on local right to work laws in the state. The support of the Governor’s office for the law was a complete 180 from the previous Governor, Bruce Rauner, who encouraged local municipalities to pass these laws. Rauner also supported Mark Janus’ case against public employees unions.

With Rauner still causing trouble as a private citizen, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 (IUOE Local 150), is setting their sights on ensuring that a right to work ban becomes permanent. The union is calling on the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban right to work. This is important because a law could be overturned by the legislature or a state court, but a constitutional amendment could not be. The union says that they have talked to the Governor about the amendment and that Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, and Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa will introduce it later this week.

The union said that after years of playing defense against right to work, it is time to go on offense. According to Local 150’s Communications Director Ed Maher the union is willing to spend significant amounts of money to get it passed. They also claim to have significant bi-partisan support for the amendment from both Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate.

If the bill passes the legislature it could be on the ballot for the 2020 election.

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