Illinois lawmakers could attempt to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a controversial labor bill as early as Wednesday, according to reports.
It would mark the second time lawmakers have tried to override Rauner's veto of the bill, which would prohibit a state worker strike or lockout and instead move unresolved labor contract talks to binding arbitration.
The House failed to override Rauner's previous veto of the measure last year.
The Rauner administration claims that the binding arbitration bill could result in higher costs for the state.
AFSCME Council 31 supports the bill, noting that it "seeks compromise and avoids a strike by allowing an independent, neutral third party to settle the differences between workers and management."
The union and the Rauner administration have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract to replace the one that expired nearly one year ago. The Rauner administration has asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board to determine whether contract talks with AFSCME are at an impasse. Such a determination would require the union to consider a contract the state produces on its own terms.
AFSCME has argued that the two parties are not at an impasse.
UPDATE (3:10 p.m.): An attempt to override Rauner's veto of the binding arbitration bill came up two votes short Wednesday in the Illinois House.
"We are deeply disappointed in the 48 legislators in the House today who failed to override Governor Rauner's veto of the fair arbitration bill," said AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch. "They sided with the governor against the people of Illinois and against the public service workers who protect kids, care for veterans and the disabled, respond to emergencies and keep us safe."
Rauner's office, meanwhile, thanked the legislators who voted against the override.
"HB 580 was unprecedented and unaffordable, and simply another attempt by the majority party in the legislature to insert themselves into the contract process and put hard working families in Illinois on the hook for a $3 billion tax hike," said Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly. "The governor thanks those members who took the pro-taxpayer position today, and believes it is now time to move forward and find compromise on a balanced budget with structural reforms that will put our state on the path to prosperity."
UPDATE (4:46 p.m.): The conservative group Americans For Prosperity is pleased by the outcome of today's override vote. Americans For Prosperity Illinois State Director David From released the following statement:
This vote was a victory for the vast majority of taxpayers who think that state government needs to spend less and stop giveaways to special interests, such as government unions. It is disappointing that when presented with the choice of standing up for taxpayers versus acting at the behest of government unions, a majority of House members chose unions. This kind of thinking has contributed greatly to the massive unfunded pension debt and over-spending by both political parties over the past decades. It is truly incredible that the General Assembly came very close to further saddling taxpayers with another billion dollars in additional costs. Fortunately, enough House members stood up to preserve the taxpayers' seat at the negotiating table by preventing this attempt to strip the Governor's negotiating power, and AFP applauds their principled vote.