SPRINGFIELD (Heartland Newsfeed) — Businesses would rather deal with natural disasters than Illinois’ labor laws, according to Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon).
“We are talking not about making changes to labor laws but whether or not it is a criminal offense to even have that conversation in the first place, and that is what this bill does, ” Demmer said at Tuesday’s House debate on an amendment to legislation sponsored by Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines).
The amendment would remove the misdemeanor charge on any director, elected official, local government or political subdivision who doesn’t comply with Collective Bargaining Freedom of Information Act by voting to create right-to-work zones. It would leave intact the main purpose of the legislation, which is to ban right-to-work ordinances in Illinois.
Demmer contended that amendment or not, the law would do even more damage to the state’s economy.
“Let’s have the conversations that we know are being had in boardrooms across the nation about whether or not Illinois is a place people feel confident to make investments,” Demmer said.
Illinois recently lost out on a Toyota Mazda manufacturing plant, which many have argued was due to Illinois’ massive debt. The plant would have brought up to 4,000 jobs into the state.
“Businesses would rather deal with natural disasters than the climate we have created for businesses in the state of Illinois,” Demmer said. “That is a regrettable mistake we have made and an opportunity we will not get back.”
He called the state desperate for work, specifically noting that his 90th District suffers severely and SB770 would make matters much worse.
“We need to make the kind of changes to put ourselves back on that list to bring back jobs to Illinois,” Demmer said. “We cannot criminalize the conversation. We need to take action today before the next opportunity passes us by. Vote ‘no.’”
The amendment passed, 73-38 and will now move to the Senate.