On February 9, 2015, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced an executive order that would stop public sector labor unions from requiring that all state workers pay the equivalent of dues.

In a statement cited by the New York Times, Rauner said, "Forced union dues are a critical cog in the corrupt bargain that is crushing taxpayers. An employee who is forced to pay unfair share dues is being forced to fund political activity with which they disagree."

In his executive order, Rauner stated that state employees "must not be forced, against their will, to participate in or fund public sector labor union activities to which they object."

Rauner cited Harris v. Quinn, in which the U.S. Supreme Court found rules that required non-union Medicaid-funded home-care personal assistants to pay "fair share" fees to labor unions violated the First Amendment and served no compelling state interest. Because such fees violate the U.S. Constitution, Rauner reasoned, he was prohibited from enforcing them.

Rauner's order will affect about 6,500 state employees who are not in unions but pay fees in lieu of union dues. According to the order, the state of Illinois currently has unfunded pension liability of $111 billion due to the pension packages obtained in previous administration due to share fees.



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