Rauner, Republicans mark first Governor’s Day at state fair since 2002 – Chicago Tribune

Republicans celebrate their first Governor’s Day in more than a dozen years at the Illinois State Fair on Wednesday, but an ongoing political and budget impasse may provoke a sharp response from Democrats.

Wednesday is the deadline for the General Assembly to begin action to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a measure aimed at ensuring state workers won’t be locked out or go on strike over negotiations with the administration on a new contract to replace the one that expired July 1.

The measure, backed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, would require binding arbitration if an impasse is reached during the current talks. Rauner has called the bill “one of the worst pieces of legislation in Illinois history.”

On Tuesday, Rauner sent a letter to lawmakers asking them not to override him, arguing that doing so would lead to a tax hike because it would strip his ability to bargain with unions and give it to arbitrators who historically are more friendly to organized labor.

“It is a direct affront to Illinois taxpayers and to my ability to negotiate on their behalf,” Rauner wrote.

Later, the governor made a rare visit to the Capitol press room to reiterate his point, telling reporters he believes the legislation is unconstitutional. Still, he said he had no interest in taking the matter to court.