Rauner vetoes bill to protect Illinois workers

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RAUNER

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

Springfield, IL – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill intended to provide important new protections for Illinois workers, surprising nobody.

Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 193, written to create the Workers’ Protection Unit and Worker Protection Task Force within the attorney general’s office. The bill was designed in part to make up for the failures of Rauner’s Department of Labor and crafted to ensure employers provide safe working environments, paying employees properly and promote healthy competition among businesses.

Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea), the House sponsor, said the veto fits with Rauner’s efforts to diminish the rights of working families.

“With the stroke of a pen, the governor proved yet again that he does not stand with working families,” Hoffman said. “If the governor will not support what is right on behalf of working men and women, the legislature will have no other choice than to move forward without him.”

ENFORCING THE LAW

The bill would empower the attorney general to bring lawsuits for violations of laws including the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act. Currently, the office can file those suits only with referrals from Rauner’s Department of Labor.

The task force section would involve local state’s attorneys in enforcing criminal violations of employment laws.

The bill passed 35-16 in the Senate and 69-47 in the House. The House total was two short of the supermajority needed for a veto override.

Hoffman said Rauner’s veto came as no surprise.

“His phony tactics of traveling around the state with his unused Carhartt jacket, trying to solidify his appeal to the interests of working people, are an absurd hypocrisy,” Hoffman said. “We know this because he consistently opposes and vetoes legislation that would provide workers with reasonable protections.”

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