Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is urging Illinois legislators to opt against overriding his veto of a bill that sought to ban a state worker strike or lockout by the administration if negotiations break down over a labor contract.
At issue is a bill backed by AFSCME, which saw its labor contract with the state expire June 30. Both sides have agreed to extend the contract temporarily to continue negotiations.
If the contract talks stall, the bill, SB 1229, would have required binding arbitration to resolve the issue.
In vetoing the legislation last month, the governor said, in part, that the bill was "based on a false premise that our administration has been unreasonable in labor negotiations and wants to lockout employees or prompt an employee strike."
On Tuesday, Rauner sent a letter to lawmakers and spoke to reporters about why his veto should not be reversed.
"We've reached out to legislators. We're asking them, 'Just let me do my job.' This is unprecedented," Rauner told reporters. "I don't think AFSCME has ever tried to end-run a negotiation anywhere in America before."
"If our ability to negotiate with AFSCME gets stripped away, it's likely going to cost taxpayers in Illinois billions of dollars beyond what I think we could negotiate if we were allowed to do it in good faith and complete the process," the governor added. "It's a big deal."
Both chambers of the legislature would have to override the governor's veto for the measure to stand. The Senate could take up a veto override of the bill on Wednesday.