Rauner scaling back on some of agenda, new plan to emerge Friday
From Illinois Business Journal news services
Gov. Bruce Rauner said he plans to introduce legislation Friday to advance a scaled-back version of the pro-business agenda he’s been pushing across Illinois for months, setting up another potential showdown with Democrats who’ve criticized him for not putting his priorities in writing as the end of session nears.
Among the measures are bills to impose term limits for state lawmakers, freeze property taxes and make workers’ compensation insurance less costly for employers, according to documents provided to The Associated Press. The Republican also wants to make it tougher for people to file lawsuits against businesses and is backing legislation introduced earlier this year to allow municipalities to file bankruptcy.
Not included in the stack of new bills is legislation to create right-to-work zones where union membership would be voluntary – a proposal that has drawn heavy protests from organized labor and that House lawmakers soundly defeated during a symbolic vote last week.
“He’s gone away from the more problematic issues and concentrated on how we grow our economy,” Rep. Ed Sullivan said. “I think he’s got a good agenda. And hopefully they’ll get a good discussion and not get bottled up in committee.”
Several of Rauner’s proposals have been tweaked since he originally began promoting them. For example, Rauner initially wanted counties to be able to create zones where all governments would opt out of collective bargaining. The revised proposal would allow individual governments or school districts to exclude some topics from collective bargaining, but wouldn’t impose the change on the entire county.
Rauner said Thursday that he plans to stand firm in his pledge to refuse tax increases without pro-businesses reform, publishing an opinion column in The (Springfield) State Journal Register saying lawmakers should “expect a very long extra session” if they don’t approve some of his priorities.