SPRINGFIELD – For a second time Thursday, State Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview) was the only Republican to vote with Senate Democrats on legislation that state workers' unions wanted protecting them during contract negotiations until 2017 – the end of Governor Rauner's first term.
The bill HB 580 passed the Senate in a 38 to 17 vote and now goes to the governor's desk, where it will once again be vetoed. The Governor issued a statement after the bill's passage that complimented the Republicans for voting against the measure:
HB 580 is unprecedented and unaffordable, putting hard working families in Illinois on the hook for a $3 billion tax hike. Once again the Democrats in the legislature pandered to special interests and prioritized them over taxpayers. The Governor thanks those Senate Republicans who took the pro-taxpayer position today.
Senator McCann, who is facing a tough GOP primary challenge funded by the governor, did not vote with those Senate Republicans Rauner congratulated and issued the following statement after HB 580's passage:
Today, for the second time, I voted in support of legislation that does nothing more than provide an alternate means to resolve the various contract disputes between the Governor and state workers so that vital services will not be disrupted and further conflict can be avoided.
Last August when this was previously before the Senate, talks between the Governor and state workers were ongoing. Since then, the Governor’s bargaining team has made the unprecedented move of walking away from negotiations with the largest group of state workers. The threat of a strike or lockout has never been greater. Investigations of child abuse, care for aging veterans, care for senior citizens, access to our state parks, issuing of hunting, fishing and firearm permits are just a few of the vital services that would be in jeopardy should a work stoppage occur.
In addition to the loss of vital services, a state employee strike or lockout would decimate local economies in the 50th Senate District. State workers are members of our communities. They are our neighbors, our friends and our family. Without stable employment, state workers will be unable to spend money in our communities. HB 580 is an insurance policy to ensure that small businesses and our communities continue to strengthen and grow.
Claims that this legislation will lead to tax increases are absurd and unfounded. To be clear, HB 580, like SB 1229 before it, does not amend the tax code or alter Illinois income tax rates in any way. Nor does this bill appropriate or spend a single cent of state money. Simply put, the legislation provides for a neutral third party to settle contract disputes when the parties are unable to reach an agreement avoiding the hardship, disruption and conflict that a strike or lockout can cause. One of the many things that an independent arbitrator, by law, must take into consideration is the State’s fiscal health.
This is the same process used for decades by local police and fire fighters as well as state correctional officers and state troopers.
As a state senator, I believe it is my job to set politics aside and focus on solving the problems facing our state. The last thing that our state needs is yet another crisis to overcome.
To solve the States problems – vote out Democrats all they want to do is destroy the s State and take care of their special groups that have put the State in the shape it is in now.
It will take courage to address Illinois fiscal problems. Something this gentleman lacks. However, with the democrat majority this governed will accomplish little.
Lacks courage? McCann voted the way his constituents asked him to knowing the consequences – you know, like having $2,000,000 worth of lies and slander hurled at him.
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it…… Mark Twain.
Its time EVERYONE pays for the politicians mistakes, not just the state employee families!!!!! Raise taxes and use the money the right way!!!