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Amendment #1 is Bad Policy at the Worst Time

On October 19, 2022, in Uncategorized, by Party-Treasurer

ICYMI: Amendment #1 is Bad Policy at the Worst Time

Governor Pritzker and Illinois Democrats put millions of dollars behind a failed tax referendum in 2020. Now the Democrats are proposing a trojan horse tax increase via yet another constitutional referendum this election, called Amendment 1 or the Workers Rights Amendment (WRA), a misnomer if there ever was one. Amendment 1 is not a workers rights amendment. It is a government union power grab that would give unions like Chicago Teachers Union and AFSCME super-legislative powers and trigger property tax increases across our state.

From Crain’s Chicago Business on October 3rd:

“If the WRA passes, Illinois will stand out for giving broader constitutional protections to organized labor than any other state. Its sweeping language provides that “workers shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively” over wages, hours, working conditions, workplace safety “and to protect their economic welfare.” It bars any legislation that interferes with this right, and—going further than any of the handful of states that constitutionally protect collective bargaining—explicitly prohibits “right to work laws” like those recently adopted by neighboring states.

The WRA is bad policy, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. A broad grant of constitutional power to unions would fuel the growing belief that Illinois is hostile to business. And a new restriction on labor-related legislation would tie the hands of lawmakers as they try to respond to the state’s ever-evolving needs…

…The WRA would similarly hamstring government in dealing with important public policy questions. In addition to the specifically enumerated bargaining rights, it puts loosely defined matters relating to the “economic welfare” of workers beyond the reach of legislators. Imagine how far an aggressive union could stretch that elastic concept…

That’s the last thing we need now. Concerns over Illinois’ business climate—the crime, the taxes, the regulatory burdens—are spreading far and wide, while defections of big-name companies Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel grab headlines.

At the same time, we’re competing for big economic prizes such as electric-vehicle battery plants with states deemed more business-friendly. Our reputation as a difficult place to do business surely contributed to our failure to win one of roughly 20 North American EV battery plants announced so far.

Bestowing special constitutional status on unions would give companies one more reason to avoid Illinois.”

“Amendment 1 would make our state even less business-friendly and less competitive right as businesses already leave our state in droves. It would empower and make state and city bureaucrats and employees even less efficient and accountable than they are now. This constitutional referendum grants super-legislative powers to union bosses that could only be changed by further constitutional referendums, not legislative action. Illinois voters should reject Amendment 1 as the government union power grab and trojan horse pathway to tax increases that it is,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy