Effort to ban right-to-work zones 'sends wrong message,' Ives says
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) argues that Senate Bill 1905 rates as a one-of-a-kind bill for good reason.
“It would be the first law ever that would criminalize the vote at the local level over policy issues,” Ives told the Prairie State Wire. “That tells you how extreme it is. It makes no sense economically and sends the wrong message to neighboring states.”
In late October, state senators voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of SB1905, legislation that would ban local governments from enforcing their own right-to-work laws by exposing officials who might seek to enact such measures to the possibility of Class A misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. The measure later failed to garner enough votes in the House.
Presently, right-to-work laws, which protect workers from being forced to pay union dues to keep their jobs, are on the books in 27 other states, including most neighboring ones.
“This is an entirely political piece of legislation,” Ives said. “Democrats and (House Speaker Mike) Madigan (D-Chicago) are signaling to keep right-to-work in place as a way of pressuring vulnerable Republicans. It would be challenged in the court system.”
The Illinois Policy Institute reports Illinois was recently scratched off a list of potential sites for a new, $1.6 billion Toyota and Mazda plant looking to hire 4,000 workers because Illinois is not a right-to-work state.
In 2015, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the former director of Illinois’ Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity claimed more than 1,100 companies had “blacklisted” Illinois because it does not have a right-to-work law.
Ives, who is in the process of gathering signatures for a 2018 primary run against Rauner, said she has grown tired of Democrats always using such tactics in an effort to impose their will.
“They do this all the time,” she said. “On this issue, I don’t see the zones going anywhere, though I think the state should be left to decide.”