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This is The Players, your update on who's who in Illinois politics and what they're up to. We encourage you to comment on Illinois leadership.Amanda Vinicky curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.

Unions Take Rauner To Court

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Unions are taking Gov. Bruce Rauner to court over his attempt to get rid of so-called "fair-share" dues.

Illinois law requires workers who are not members of unions to nonetheless pay a fee, for the benefits unions secure on their behalf.

Rauner had issued an executive order eliminating that requirement.

But labor leaders says that's a violation of the separation of powers; in other words, a governor can't unilaterally toss out a state law.

"Let's not kid ourselves, the governor - his intent her is to weaken unions, and to wipe us out entirely," AFL-CIO Presidnet Michael Carrigan says. Illinois' Attorney General has previously cast legal doubt on Rauner's move.

Rauner, a Republican, says forcing workers to pay money to unions is a violation of their First Amendment rights, because he says unions and their political activities are "inextricably linked.”

The governor's office says the lawsuit isn't unforeseen -- Rauner's spokesman says he'd "expected the government union bosses to fight to keep their stranglehold over Illinois taxpayers in place."

When he issued the executive order, Rauner also filed a federal lawsuit to strike fair-share dues. The AFL-CIO's Carrigan says unions will file another lawsuit, seeking to toss the governor's. Carrigan says state court -- not federal -- is the appropriate venue to address issues with state laws.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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