Attorney General finds Rauner right to work and prevailing wage plans are illegal

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued two formal opinions on actions taken by Gov. Bruce Rauner, and says neither action is legal.

One opinion regards the ability of local units of government to establish their own “right to work” zones. In Madigan’s opinion she states that the National Labor Relations Act prohibits counties, municipalities and other units of local government cannot adopt local ordinances establishing “right to work” zones, nor can they legally opt out of prevailing wage laws.

Sen. Gary Forby and Rep. Jay Hoffman requested the opinion. Forby responded to the opinion, saying “I guess that’s that. The Attorney General’s opinion makes it pretty clear this is a matter for state lawmakers, and the Southern Illinois lawmakers I know – on both sides of the aisle – aren’t going to hurt working families,” he went on to say. “Maybe now the governor can start focusing on putting people back to work in Southern Illinois. People around here just want jobs where they’ll be respected with an honest wage for an honest day’s work.”

Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan, commented, “While Gov. Rauner continues his obsessive war on unions and the middle class, he just keeps running into huge road blocks – like the law. The Attorney General’s opinions on right to work zones and prevailing wage are confirmation of what we suspected from the outset. I think the people of the state would actually appreciate the Governor working on the pressing issues in front of us, instead of continually proposing illegal and politically-motivated fixes to non-existent problems.”

You can read Madigan’s opinion on right to work zones here, and her opinion on prevailing wage here.