Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants municipalities in the state to pass resolutions in support of his proposal to let local communities enact right-to-work zones.
At the request of the governor, the Illinois Municipal League has been reaching out to mayors about having their legislative bodies take up supportive resolutions related to Rauner's proposals on right-to-work zones, the prevailing wage and worker compensation.
"The governor's office has asked that we follow up with mayors and managers on the Turnaround Agenda information and provide a resolution... that is supportive of his administration's efforts," Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole told the Herald & Review's Springfield Bureau Chief Kurt Erickson.
A snippet of a sample resolution reads, "Voters in our community should be allowed to decide via referendum whether or not employees should be forces to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment."
Chicago Emanuel Rahm Emanuel rejected Rauner's call for such resolutions Thursday, releasing the following statement:
Governor Rauner is continuing his race to the bottom by asking cities like Chicago to pass 'Right to Work' zone resolutions. I will not support - and will oppose every step of the way - any such resolution in Chicago because I believe it directly threatens our strategic goal to strengthen Chicago's middle class, not undermine it. We should instead be focused on rebuilding our neighborhood infrastructure, public transit, public schools, and public parks to keep growing local jobs. And that's why I've launched an effort to build "Right to Thrive" zones that will protect our workers and provide an array of incentives to help businesses create jobs in struggling neighborhoods throughout our city.
Competing against Mississippi and Alabama for low wages is not a strategy to build a great city. When companies look for a new home or a place to grow, our competition is the other great cities of the world like New York, London, Beijing, and Tokyo. By building a stronger local economy with good-paying jobs, Chicago will continue to be among those great cities and every resident, from every neighborhood, will benefit.
Last Friday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued legal opinions on Rauner's proposed right-to-work zones and prevailing wage changes, both of which she says would be illegal.