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*** UPDATED x1 *** Your daily “right to work” roundup

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

* From the governor’s office…

Good morning, Rich!

The following have passed the resolution:

Elk Grove Village
Logan County


* The Illinois AFL-CIO claims that Elk Grove Village passed a “modified version of the anti-worker resolution despite a standing room only crowd protesting the move.”

From the village’s website

Consideration to adopt Resolution No. 20-15 (attached) supporting portions of Governor Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” for government empowerment and reform.

(By approving this Resolution, Elk Grove Village is supporting certain reforms in State government that will encourage local control, reduce costs on local governments, empower local voters, and increase competitiveness in our community.)

I couldn’t find the resolution online.

*** UPDATE *** From IUOE Local 150…

Attached is the resolution approved last night in Elk Grove Village. The mayor repeatedly stated at the meeting that this was not the Governor’s resolution and that it had been substantially altered, though the portions considered to be veiled attacks on unions still appear in this version.

The resolution’s text…

WHEREAS, municipal government is the closest unit of Illinois government to their
residents and thereby the most responsive; and

WHEREAS, municipalities are front-line providers of critical government services to
residents and these services include police and fire protection, snow removal, refuse collection,
infrastructure, water, sewer and utility services among countless others; and

WHEREAS, unfunded mandates including the imposition of excessive pension benefits,
prevailing wage requirements, workers’ compensation laws, injury apportionment and
impairment laws, and certain labor laws and other such unfunded mandates have dramatically
and materially increased the costs to local taxpayers by billions of dollars; and

WHEREAS, addressing these matters will, through reducing the cost of providing local
necessary and essential government services, reduce the burden on local taxpayers, including
reducing the burden of property taxes and fees; and

WHEREAS, granting local elected officials and voters at the local level the choice to
create local empowerment zones may assist in making Illinois more attractive for future business
investment and enhanced job growth; and

WHEREAS, while local empowerment zones may not be the appropriate decision for
every community, the Village of Elk Grove is supportive of allowing voters and local officials,
who are in the best position to understand their local issues, to determine the future direction of
their community.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Village of Elk Grove Village
strongly endorses major reforms in State government achieved through aspects of Governor
Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda that will encourage local control, reduce costs on local
governments, and increase competitiveness in our and surrounding communities.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* From a union official…

Rauner resolution tabled in Mahomet — at the start of the meeting. They took public comment afterward anyway, because so many people had showed up. All speakers were opposed. I am told, “One guy in a suit signed in to speak, listing a Springfield address. After it was tabled he left without speaking. We think he was from the governor’s office.”

* From the Daily Herald

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen insisted Tuesday — again and again — that the county board committee of the whole was not discussing a resolution supporting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s turnaround agenda.

Instead, he said, he wants the board to craft its own resolution that is positive in tone, calling for changes in how the state addresses its financial problems. He said it should be built by consensus and not be divisive.

“I don’t think that it is any secret that what Gov. Rauner has proposed is controversial, but what we are doing today is very different than that,” Lauzen said.

But many of the people in the audience, which spilled out of the room and its lobby, then down the stairs, still protested. Some said parts of the proposal were code for what Rauner has proposed, such as allowing counties and towns to establish empowerment zones with right-to-work regulations and to opt out of having to pay prevailing wage rates for public projects. Both are seen as anti-labor union measures. Leadership from several unions, including operating engineers, the Fox Valley Labor Council, an AFSCME retirees’ local chapter and two local teacher unions, spoke to the board.

* Tribune

Union officials lodged their opposition Tuesday to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed right-to-work zones as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s effort to send a message to state lawmakers that City Hall opposes the idea.

The testimony came at a City Council hearing on a symbolic resolution sponsored by Emanuel to oppose the zones. It’s the latest bit of political posturing between Emanuel and Rauner on the topic. […]

After the hearing, Ald. Patrick O’Connor, Emanuel’s floor leader, said the council hopes to persuade Rauner to “rethink this.”

“Shouldn’t we all just be about creating more jobs, more good-paying jobs, more jobs that allow people to step up into the middle class, as opposed to basically saying, ‘I can offer you a whole bunch of, like, half jobs, but I can’t offer you a good job?’” said O’Connor, 40th.

The Cook County Board will take up a nearly identical resolution today.

* And from the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

The Governor got an earful during his presentation in front of an Illinois Department of Transportation listening tour stop in Springfield. Governor Bruce Rauner was addressing the IDOT gathering about his “Turnaround Illinois Agenda” when Sean Stott, the Director of Government Affairs for Laborer’s International Union, got up to say a few words. Afterwards Stott said the Governor’s statements on right-to-work zones are factually inaccurate.

“The federal government has said and the courts have ruled repeatedly for decades that local governments cannot establish local right-to-work zones as he would promote.”

But Governor Rauner says the federal law is clear.

“We’re highly confident that federal labor law allows local governments to decide for themselves labor issues if the state authorizes them to do it.”

Rauner says he’s pushing for a statewide law that would allow local governments the option of becoming a right-to-work zone and he expects any measure on right-to-work issues will be litigated. The Governor also says that he’s working with legislative leaders to hash out some of the proposals and hopes to have the package of bills introduced in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile nearly 30 local governments have approved non-binding resolutions supporting the Governor’s “Turnaround Illinois Agenda”. That’s according to the the Governor’s office. The resolution, shopped out by the Illinois Municipal League and other government association groups, includes employee empowerment zones which are also referred to as right-to-work zones. The resolutions also include proposed reforms to workers’ compensation, insurance costs, business regulations and issues concerning project labor agreements and prevailing wage. Unions oppose the resolutions saying implementation of the measures would mean disintegration of the middle class. But Governor Rauner says the reforms are necessary to make the state’s business climate more friendly.

* The Institute also published this

At Forbes, Richard Epstein, a professor at both the University of Chicago Law School and New York University School of Law, said [Attorney General Lisa Madigan] has fundamentally mischaracterized federal law.

Epstein explained that the U.S. Supreme Court generally presumes that federal law does not preempt state law unless one of three conditions exists: there is an explicit conflict between federal and state law; the state law would frustrate a federal program; or the federal government has completely occupied the field in question.

Epstein explained that “[n]one of these is remotely plausible” in the case of local Right-to-Work laws because “the federal government has explicitly recognized the state’s authority on this key point” by explicitly allowing states to enact Right-to-Work laws. So there is no conflict between federal and state law; there is no federal program that would be frustrated by local Right to Work; and the federal government has explicitly declined to occupy the entire field.

Whether a state adopts a statewide law or just allows local governments to adopt their own Right-to-Work laws is irrelevant. “In general,” Epstein wrote, “the federal government has no power to tell states how it is that they should divide up their powers of government.”

It also shouldn’t matter that Illinois has no state law specifically authorizing local governments to enact Right-to-Work laws (although Rauner wants such a law). The Illinois Constitution allows home-rule units to exercise any governmental power the state government has not explicitly reserved to itself. Therefore, because state law does not explicitly forbid home-rule units from adopting Right-to-Work laws, they may do so.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    “Good Morning ck!

    Thanks for the update and all, but did you forget the attachments?


  2. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:19 am:

    What’s the ultimate objective of this traveling dog-and-pony show? Is it an attempt to demonstrate grassroots support or to identify candidates for the enemies’ list?

  3. - Person 8 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    “Meanwhile nearly 30 local governments have approved non-binding resolutions”

    IPI is touting .004%?

  4. - Person 8 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    sorry that’s .4%

  5. - Minnow - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    Whatever. Still don’t see “The Right To Work Act” going anywhere.(HB4139)

  6. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    I had hoped that the Guv’s Office’s lack of updates the last few days meant they now understood how silly this exercise was, and had opted to take the high road. C’est la vie.

  7. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    ===The gov also said he is working with the legislative leaders to hash out some of the proposals and hopes to have the package introduced in the next few weeks.===

    Leaders?? Do we believe dems are working on acceptable versions of right to work?

    In a few weeks? I am beginning to think rauner is planning on special sessions. That way he can time his ad blitz to specific dates.

    So much for transparency

  8. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:33 am:

    I’m sure someone is keeping a list of those who voted for these measures and perhaps posting the names by municipality/township/county, right?

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    Get to 1,000, and…

    Mayors, dozens and dozens of mayors, holding a single press conference, demanding the Rauner Resolution be implemented… That would be fun.

    I’m embarrased for those in the Rauner Administration who have been “assigned” this utterly useless and meaningless task. If you get this assignment, you’re expendable. You’re not needed, because, let’s be honest, these are non-binding, and now you guys need the IPI to prop this up?

    You need the bought and paid for “think tank” to make your task seem… important.

    Don’t worry “ck” will update us on the hard, useless, meaningless successes… while ignoring each failure.

    It’s gotta be deflating.

  10. - Makandadawg - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:47 am:

    So Rauner starts his term by declaring we have too many forms of local government and creates the “Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandate Task Force” to reduce the total number. Then next he starts using all these 7000 units in a divide and conqure campaign. A very cheap campaign at that. Maybe those that vote yes get to stay around and those that don’t are history.

  11. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:47 am:

    Seriously doubt Elk Grove Village passed it as written by Rauner’s crew. They are champions of local control, however, and enjoy making that point with other government bodies on all kinds of issues.

  12. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:51 am:


    Please point me to the language in either the Federal or State Constitutuons that specifically state that citizens do NOT have a “Right to Work”. And that this law will all of a sudden change that. Never, ever have I been told I don’t have a “Right to Work”.

    “Right to Work” is a marketing slogan. Like “Religious Freedom”. The only thing the US Constitutuon says about religion is the Government can’t establish one….and it’s not needed to run for office. So other than a “xtian” Florist might have to sell flowers to an icky gay couple….there is nothing from preventing anyone from practicing their religion.

    And this country decided a long time ago that not serving people of color at the Woolworth counter because it was against someone’s religious beliefs is wrong….was wrong.

    There is no such thing as a “Right to Work. Nowhere.

  13. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    ==he expects any measure on right-to-work issues will be litigated==

    This is the Governor’s game plan on everything. Do what he wants and make the courts tell him he can’t. Fair share? I’m gonna do what I want and make the courts tell me to stop it. Right to work? I’m gonna do what I want and make the courts stop me. Mark my words, he’ll engage in the same behavior when the union contracts expire. I fully expect him to begin making unilateral changes and make people sue him to get the courts to stop him.

  14. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    I hope that in the end right to work is dropped from the agenda. In this critical time of stagnant middle class wages and historically high corporate income/profits, the last thing we should do is give corporations more power in determining wages, benefits and workplace conditions.

    The economy in Illinois is recovering. Unemployment rates in Illinois towns keep dropping. We should look to build on any momentum without striving to erode workers’ voices. We should not succumb to the fear and false narrative that right to work proponents are pushing, that our state is “circling down the drain” and we can only save it by undermining unions and giving more power to business.

    This is a very critical time in Illinois and America–for workers’ rights. If they continue to be eroded, how will workers be able to compete with super-wealthy businesses and individuals? We’d risk tilting power permanently in favor of the super-wealthy. With unionization rates being what they are, historically low, we’re almost there already.

    Union members who show up in droves at hearings to oppose right to work are to be commended and held up as models for lawful and often-effective opposition to right to work.

    It’s hard, selfless work being a union leader, sacrificing time and engaging in difficult effort behalf of membership. It is a life of service, honorable service, whose repercussions reach deep into our economy and quality of life.

    [stepping off of the soapbox. air’s a little thin up here]

  15. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    I’m afraid the governor would not agree with one word you’ve said (very eloquently), Grandson, because, frankly he doesn’t care about workers.

  16. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    Rauner is as usual either overstating his case, or is misinformed by his allies.

    So far the Federal law and court decisions have been clear.

    Rauner and crew are trying to change the legal environment by creating fact situations across the country, and plausible arguments to be used in Federal Court.

    Never forget this is a national movement, still moving uphill, trying to get some good footholds. To some extent Rauner is an exuberant pawn in this effort.

  17. - Mama - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:16 am:

    ++Governor Rauner says the reforms are necessary to make the state’s business climate more friendly. ++ In Rauner’s mind, what will it take to make IL business climate ‘more friendly’? No State laws, no rules and no unions?

  18. - seetheforest - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    How much is it costing taxpayers for Governor Private Equity and his crew to be shilling his RTW agenda?
    Anybody know?

    Meanwhile, Rome is burning …

  19. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    It’s amazing how many of you exclude the vast majority of workers who do not want to belong to a union as somehow not part of the worker class. While unions have played an important role in America they also have a history of violence, extortion and dominance by organized crime. The hardest feelings against unions I’ve seen aren’t from corporate leaders. but by blue collar folks who don’t appreciate threats of broken bones by union bosses who say they need to join or else.

  20. - Gabe - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    So, the plan is to pass whatever he wants without regard to the law, and only stop when lawsuits have forced him to.

    He really is running this state like a business.

  21. - Minnow - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    In order to understand the where and what of Rauner’s agenda(s), readers might like to read a description of the Libertarian Party. It’s platform and Statement of Principles. And to further understand him you’ll see one of his main contributors (David Koch)ran for Vice President in 1980 on that ticket. You might also reflect on the fact that their father Fred, was a co-founder of the John Birch Society. All pretty interesting. Just saying.

  22. - Rufus - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    @Mama — and no taxes.

  23. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    “It’s amazing how many of you exclude the vast majority of workers who do not want to belong to a union as somehow not part of the worker class.”

    No one’s doing that. Don’t want to join a union? Great! By all means, don’t. But don’t get in the way of anyone else’s right to join a union, and don’t take all the benefits of being in a union without contributing to that work.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:39 am:

    ===…you’ll see one of his main contributors (David Koch)…===


    I’d call Griffin a main contributor…

  25. - Joe M - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    I get the feeling that some of these municipalities and counties feel that if they pass the Governor’s plan, they will somehow gain the Governor’s favor, and be spared from upcoming budget cuts. But, they need to realize, as it currently stands, the Governor still plans on cutting all local governments’ state money by 50% next fiscal year — as well as other major cuts to other services and programs that will impact their communities.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t see where anything in the Turnaround Agenda puts more money in municipalities and counties next fiscal year.

  26. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:11 am:


    I am not getting into the legalities of the so called right to work issue. My point was that the dems are never going to do anything rauner would find acceptable on the subject.

  27. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    No surprise that Logan County voted for it-anything that has any sort of Republican backing will pass there-

  28. - Minnow - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    “I’d call Griffin a main contributor”… Not disagreeing with that point. Just wanted to point out a “one”(another) major contributor.

  29. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    =No one’s doing that. Don’t want to join a union? Great! By all means, don’t. But don’t get in the way of anyone else’s right to join a union, and don’t take all the benefits of being in a union without contributing to that work.=


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    How much for a major contributor?

    What were David Koch’s actual numbers?

  31. - Logan Co. Did What??? - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    I have been searching the net all morning trying to find a news story on the vote in Logan Co. I have read the Lincoln Courier twice now and, unless I’m really missing it, I’ve seen nothing. The only thing my search found was a Logan Co. In Kentucky that voted. Does anyone know where I can find some info??

  32. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:32 pm:

    When I think of dystopian movies like Blade Runner, I picture a young child asking his grandfather about what when wrong. The grandfather replies “Well, it all started in the early 21st century when a political party was bought out by greedy businessmen who destroyed the labor movement and all the worker protections they had gained in the previous century.”

  33. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:10 pm:

    That’s the funny part of this whole thing Joe M. The gov is saying that empowerment will result in savings that will offset state costs. Of course that’s absurd. So we have local gov units doing this because:

    1) they want to curry favor in hopes of minimizing the cuts;

    2) are stupid enough to actually believe the promises of savings; or

    3) are right-wing extremists who don’t care about reality.

  34. - Gallimaufry - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    @Norseman In larger, home-rule cities, add one more to the list:

    4) disarm the Gov’s veiled threats of a well-funded opponent in the next election. As little as $75k can easily bump a mayoral incumbent.

  35. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    Show of hands
    Anyone else embarrassed that Team BVR has spent thousands of man hourse and who knows how on phone computers in this very unsuccessful campaign to get towns to slash their wrists?
    Maybe they should shift to where BVR plans to encamp for the Lincoln Funeral events? Or is Mr. ILove SPI ducking out?

  36. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:28 pm:


    No, the HILARIOUS thing is that if the Rauner Turnaround passes, it will be used to justify slashing the local distributive fund, but as long as it never passes, the locals ca point to that as an excuse NOT to slash their funding.

    So, rather than preserving their meal ticket, anyone passing the Rauner resolution is slashing their own throat.

  37. - From the Stateline - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    Demoralized, walker:

    Forcing endless litigation is *precisely* the strategy:

    Heritage Foundation is backing a dark money 501(c)(4) called “Protect My Check” to provide legal support for municipalities that pass RTW ordinances and face litigation. They want to force unions to file lawsuits any- and everywhere.

  38. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 5:54 pm:

    ==“the federal government has no power to tell states how it is that they should divide up their powers of government.”==

    This is an appallingly incorrect statement. The federal government approved the constitutional schemes of states as they were admitted to the union. If Congress didn’t agree, they would have rejected them.

  39. - Minnow - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 6:34 pm:

    Sorry to leave you hangin’.(family thing) You win-I lose. Can’t find “dark money”. Looked in closets, under the bed, in the couch cushions. It’s just not there. :)Guess I dreamed it all up.

    - From the Stateline- Now that is a nightmare!

  40. - railrat - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 7:22 pm:

    working class individuals do have and should have the right to join a union !! if the best can fill the job and is willing to pay for representation that’s the cause and should be commended but my question is why are so many available “members” there to contest the issue at meetings are they unemployed ? and why are they un employable ? do they lack the skills to retain a job whilst paying dues for the leaders wages and pensions? or are unions using retirees or other union family members or the out of work unemployable to fill these meetings ?

  41. - From the Stateline - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 7:28 pm:

    railrat -

    These meetings are held after 5:00 p.m., and the attendees are predominantly locals …

  42. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 7:32 pm:

    Railrat, it’s quite a leap from “present at a public meeting” to “unemployable” in one sentence.

    What do the other squares on your “Jump to Conclusions Mat” say?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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