Members of Illinois' largest public employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said they're disappointed legislators Wednesday failed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of legislation that could have had big consequences for their next contract.
The legislation would have required stalled labor contract disputes to be settled by an arbitrator. Rauner said it was an attempt by unions to get a better contract that would have cost taxpayers billions more. He vetoed the legislation just as he did with nearly identical legislation last year.
Democrats said the measure was meant to keep both sides at the table. AFSCME's fighting Rauner's attempt to cut off negotiations, which have been stalled since January.
Rep. Emmanuel Chris Welch, D-Hillside, said he sponsored the measure because he thought it was"outrageous" for Rauner to walk away from the negotiating table with AFSCME. Welch says his legislation was a reaction to that.
"House Bill 580 is a fair arbitration process. Process that is going to get us to a responsible contract," he said.
Republican House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said the contract dispute isn't the governor's fault. He said the administration secured contracts with more than a dozen other unions.
"So I will disagree with you on whether or not the governor has been acting in good faith," he told Democratic House members.
The state labor board is holding hearings to decide if there's an impasse.