Governor Rauner late Friday decided not to let the state Constitution stand in the way of his desire to attack unions that represent state employees.
According to a news release issued by the governor’s office (and reported by CapitolFax),
State agencies under the control of the governor’s office will withhold unfair share fees when processing payroll. Additionally, agencies will retain an amount of money equal to the withheld unfair share fees until the legal issues are resolved.
A few days ago, the governor announced his intention to interrupt fair share collections from 6,500 state of Illinois employees. However, it appeared that sanity had prevailed when Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger (who Rauner appointed to her office just a few weeks ago) declined, on the advice of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, to withhold the payments.
The following is from the governor’s news release and apparently is to be read without irony:
The fact that the Governor pro-actively took steps from the beginning to segregate the unfair share funds shows his respect for the legal process underway. Whether it’s the Comptroller or the individual departments that keep the ‘unfair share’ funds in reserve, the Governor is making sure that he is able to carry out his obligation to protect the constitutional rights of the people of Illinois while recognizing that this important issue will ultimately be decided by the courts.
As Rich Miller at CapitolFax notes,
“So, instead of ordering the comptroller to violate state law and state contracts, the governor’s gonna do it himself. More at the CapitolFax Blog
It appears Gov. Rauner’s attempt to govern by
fiat executive order has hit a snag.
According to Rich Miller at CapitolFax.com, State Comptroller Leslie Munger, who was appointed to her position by Gov. Rauner last month, is not going to go along with the governor’s executive order (EO) calling for some dues to be withheld from public employee unions.
“…Munger has decided she will follow state statute and not Rauner’s EO, which sought to place “fair share” union dues in a special escrow account,” Miller reports.
Munger, apparently on the advice of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, has decided she needs a court order to comply.
“We agree with the Comptroller,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said in an email. “Fair shares fees are constitutional under the current law and she must follow the law.”
So, for the time being, nothing will change with regard to dues collection from State of Illinois employees.
No IEA members are affected by the Rauner EO.