Senate Moves to Override Rauner on Prevailing Wage

Date: November 16, 2016

Related Content: News State Illinois Labor

 
Senate Bill 2964, which requires the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) to use Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) to set prevailing wage rates throughout the state, was amendatorily vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. In the veto, he cited the unconstitutional nature of allowing a private entity to set public wage rates as well as the elimination of local control in setting the rates.
 
An amendatory veto (AV) means the Governor used his veto pen on part of the bill but left some of it intact. This is different than a total veto. Lawmakers can either make a motion to override the AV or accept it.
 
The Senate sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon (Oak Park), filed a motion to override the veto and it passed the Senate today, Nov. 16, by a vote of 41-17.
 
NFIB was opposed to the original bill, and in a letter encouraged the governor to veto it when it got to his desk. Current law allows IDOL to survey contractors, both union and nonunion, to ensure the prevailing wage rate accurately reflects wages being paid in any given locality.
 
Illinois is a diverse state, with some areas being more heavily unionized than others.Tying a downstate community to a Collective Bargaining Agreement based in another region results in inflated wage rates that don’t reflect the actual wages in those communities. Using inflated wage rates also deters nonunion contractors from bidding on jobs and decreases competition for public work. By reducing competition, local governmental bodies and school districts are often left with only one or two bidders who may not even be from their community. Taxpayers ultimately foot the bill for these inflated wages and are the real losers.
 
The bill now goes back to the Illinois House where they will also vote on the override motion. Please contact your representative in the Illinois House and ask them to OPPOSE an override of SB 2964.

Related Content: News | State | Illinois | Labor

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