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Connor-Backed Protections for Workers’ Rights, Strong Unions Now Law

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law backed by state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, will prohibit laws that hurt workers’ bargaining positions or endanger their access to safe, good-paying jobs.

“Illinois needs good-paying jobs with safe working conditions, and for that to happen, unions need to be strong,” Connor said. “Secure negotiating positions are key to a union’s effectiveness. Any laws that weaken that position hurt every worker involved. Unions help grow our middle class and ensure hard-working Illinoisans aren’t exploited.”

Connor backed Senate Bill 1474, or the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act, which was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Connor’s measure prohibits any laws limiting union agreements with an employer. This is in response to a national debate over “right-to-work” laws that have come up in other states. These laws prohibit agreements requiring union membership as a condition of employment. “Right-to-work” laws often significantly weaken a union’s bargaining position, and weaken employee rights and benefits.

Under those laws, workers can take advantage of all rights and privileges guaranteed to them by their union contract, but do not have to pay for that service, forcing the costs of those rights and privileges onto their fellow workers. The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act would prohibit local governments from imposing “right-to-work” laws, and so help unions maintain strong bargaining positions and enforce worker rights.

“‘Right-to-work’ laws threaten union families and workers everywhere, and we have to keep them out of Illinois,” Connor said. “Bad actors can take advantage of workers who are not protected by strong unions. When workers’ bargaining power is limited, those employers have opportunities to make money by cutting corners, slashing paychecks and putting families’ wellbeing at risk.”

Politics

Former GOP candidate for governor Jeanne Ives now seeking party nod to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten

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By Rick Pearson | Chicago Tribune

Former state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, whose controversial campaign nearly upset incumbent Bruce Rauner in last year’s Republican primary for governor, filed papers Thursday setting up a primary battle for the right to challenge freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove.

Ives’ candidacy for the 6th Congressional District pits her against Rauner’s former running mate, former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti. It also creates the potential for a rematch of sorts featuring themes from the 2018 primary for governor, which Ives lost to Rauner by fewer than 22,100 votes.

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Politics

With just $9.72 in the bank, Democratic lawmaker from Naperville officially ends long-shot primary challenge to Sen. Dick Durbin

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By Rick Pearson | Chicago Tribune

Freshman Democratic state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray of Naperville has formally ended her long-shot bid to challenge three-term U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in the March 2020 primary, documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show.

Stava-Murray, who announced her challenge to Durbin even before being sworn in to her state legislative seat, filed a termination notice for her federal campaign committee on Monday. She had only raised $175 since formalizing her candidacy — $150 from herself — and ended the second quarter of the year with a balance of $9.72.

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Business

Naperville City Council takes first step toward opting out of the retail sale of recreational pot

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By Erin Hegarty | Naperville Sun

The Naperville City Council appears ready to say no the selling recreational marijuana in the city.

Members voted 5-4 Tuesday to direct staff to prepare the documentation needed to opt out of the retail sale of adult-use cannabis under the terms of the new state law, which goes into effect Jan. 1.

The vote came after public comment from more than 15 people, including two businesses that want permission to sell pot in the city and representatives from behavioral health centers who are opposed to it.

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