Dodge calls for candid discussion about state's financial issues
Jim Dodge is thrilled to see his prediction about a recent Supreme Court decision putting the power back in the hands of the people is coming to fruition.
“I always said I thought the Janus decision would force public sector unions to create more value for their members while also giving those members more direct control,” Dodge told the Prairie State Wire. “And isn’t that how it should be in a fair and democratic society?”
In a 5-4 verdict early this summer, the Supreme Court ruled that Illinois child support specialist Mark Janus was not obligated to continue paying union dues after he argued that American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) violated his First Amendment rights by engaging in political speech with which he did not agree. In the aftermath, WBEZ reports more than 300 CPS staffers have now ceased shelling out the roughly $1,000 in annual union contributions.
Over the last decade, Illinois Policy Institute reports among other actions that have most riled rank-and-file members are school strikes that ultimately led to the closure of dozens of schools and thousands of CPS staffers being laid off.
“Clearly, as we go forward we are now at the point where what needs to happen here in Illinois is a candid discussion about the state’s finances and all the unsustainable promises that have been made to union leaders over the years,” said Dodge, running as a Republican for state treasurer against incumbent Mike Frerichs. “That would make for a fairer system of operations for all parties involved.”
In Dodge’s mind, that’s far from what happened in the time before the Janus decision.
“Lot of unions sent unions into negotiations with lawmakers and they came home with an unpaid IOU,” he said. “The political class in Springfield assumed we as taxpayers wouldn’t rise up and say at some point enough is enough. That’s what this whole election in November is about, people coming to a point where they want something different.”