* Republican state Sen. Sam McCann…
Last week I had to take a somewhat controversial vote. Governor Bruce Rauner had vetoed a piece of legislation that would have changed how an impasse is handled in state employee pay negotiations. This bill would prevent state employees from going on strike or being locked out, and it would put the ultimate decision on a new contract in the hands of arbitrators.
This wasn’t a perfect bill, though very few truly are, and the situation we find ourselves in is historic. I also don’t particularly care for the vote was rescheduled. That part should have been handled differently by Senate leadership.
But how the vote was handled is a separate question from whether the motion deserved a “yay” or a “nay” vote. In recent days and weeks, I have had more calls, emails, Facebook messages, and face-to-face comments on this vote than nearly any other in my time in the Senate. Of all those thousands of points of contact, an overwhelming number asked me to vote in favor of the motion to override, as I did.
Regardless of the circumstances, I am sent here to vote for the residents of the 50th District, and they made it very clear how I should vote. The number one complaint that I glean from conversations with constituents is that they believe that elected officials don’t hear them. They believe that no one holding elected office really hears or cares about their concerns. Well, I heard my constituents loudly and clearly. These constituents spoke with both clarity and volume. And I did what I have always promised to do: to listen to my constituents and to speak and vote accordingly – and that is exactly what I did.
I am certainly not happy with the current budget process, nor the hyper-partisan stalemate in our Capitol. I think it’s an absolute tragedy that state employees are being used as political pawns in this process. These are taxpayers who earn a living by operating our state government. I have more state employees in my Senate District than any other. I was elected to serve my constituents, not Speaker Madigan, Senate President Cullerton or Governor Rauner. This district said loudly and clearly that they wanted me to vote in favor of the override, and so I did just that.
If you have any questions, or if you need assistance with anything, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at 217-782-xxxx.
State Senator Sam McCann