Rauner proposes pension bill that would gut union negotiations

SPRINGFIELD — An amended one-month emergency budget measure passed last week in the Senate won large approval Thursday in the House, receiving a 71 vote approval to 19 “NO” votes and the GOP submitting another 21 “PRESENT” votes. You can read the measure here.

But Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner – still demanding reforms – says if House Speaker Michael Madigan calls any budget-related vote, it should be to fund the government for a full year, and GOP lawmakers have made it clear Rauner intends to veto the measure if it clears the Senate.

Instead, Rauner has proposed a new, 500-page pension reform bill that would place extreme restrictions on the collective bargaining of union teachers, police, firefighters and public employees statewide, offering them incentives to opt out of all or part of their current retirement plans, and prohibiting certain subjects from even being negotiated.

He wants to amend state law to remove wages and hours as issues that can be bargained and explicitly prohibit bargaining on pensions, salaries, overtime compensation and several other items.

Rauner’s proposal would also allow municipalities to declare bankruptcy against their obligations.

If the one-month budget passes a vote Thursday, but Rauner doesn’t sign or veto it, it will lay meaningless on his desk while programs go unfunded – more Springfield political theater.