September 29, 2017
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate Bill 1905 from the 100th General Assembly, which prohibits local communities from allowing individual workers a choice in whether or not they want to pay a union as a condition of employment. This legislation would damage the economic health of Illinois’ communities by removing their freedom to determine the best interests of their workforces and employers.
Illinois lags behind its neighbors’ economic and job growth despite our many advantages. Our State’s workforce is fleeing and aging, losing 250,000 people and having the worst personal income growth in the country over the last decade. Individuals, families, and businesses who should be eager to come to Illinois stay away. Manufacturers too often leave across our borders or never even consider investing in new job creation here. Many businesses will only expand in communities that offer employee freedom of choice.
Part of our struggle is that every state that shares a border with Illinois has already enacted true worker freedom, allowing individuals in those states to determine whether they want to contribute to a labor union. Many states around us are growing union jobs as well as non-union jobs faster than Illinois because more of their communities give workers choice while not preventing employees from joining unions if they choose.
By contrast, Senate Bill 1905 would move Illinois in the opposite direction by destroying the freedom of Illinois’ local communities to choose reforms that can make their economies more competitive, help their businesses grow, and give the freedom to individual workers to support a union at their own discretion.
This legislation forces local communities to follow a one-size-fits-all model of government, no matter how detrimental they believe it is to them. Our goal should not be to limit workers’ ability to join a union but rather to give communities the freedom to embrace new tools to compete economically and to recruit businesses and talent rather than have their choices dictated by Springfield.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 1905, entitled “AN ACT concerning government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.