Rep. Breen Questions AFSCME Deputy Director on True Intent of HB 580 Amendment

This week, the majority re-presented a bill that would strip the power to negotiate effective union contracts away from democratically elected officials into the hands of unelected bureaucrats.

The measure was heard this week in the Illinois House’s Labor & Commerce Committee. House Bill 580 (Amendment #2) is a rehash of last year’s SB 1229, which passed on a party-line vote and was vetoed by Governor Rauner. A veto override attempt by the Democratic supermajority in the House failed in September.

“Illinois taxpayers are represented in contract negotiations by their elected representatives. HB 580 would reverse the will of the people and strip from our democratically elected Governor the ability to work for a union agreement that meets the needs of all Illinoisans,” said Breen, who sits on the Labor & Commerce Committee.

During the hearing on the amendment, Breen questioned Michael Newman, deputy director of AFSCME Council 31, the state’s largest government employee union, which is pushing the bill. Breen focused his comments on the true intent of the amendment and the effects it would have on taxpayers. You can listen to Breen’s questioning by clicking on the image above.

Breen also spoke strongly against the original bill during the September veto override attempt. You can watch his floor comments from that debate here.