Illinois AG: GOP Governor’s Anti-Union Proposals Illegal

CHICAGO (AP) -

Illinois’s Democratic attorney general has delivered a blow to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s efforts to weaken labor unions.

Lisa Madigan on Friday issued formal opinions saying two of Rauner’s proposals would be illegal.

One would allow local governments to create so-called “right-to-work zones” where union membership would be voluntary. The other would let local governments opt out of prevailing-wage agreements, which require workers on government projects to receive wages that reflect local compensation for similar jobs.

Rauner argues unions have too much power and have contributed to Illinois’s financial problems. He says local voters should decide whether to curb unions’ influence.

But Madigan says the proposals would violate federal labor law and state law.

Democratic legislators asked Madigan to weigh in, anticipating legislation will be proposed.