Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner continued his campaign against progressive policies Wednesday by visiting Chicago and offering some tough love to help turn the city around.
“For Chicago to get what it wants, Illinois must get what it needs,” Rauner told the city council, the Chicago-Sun Times reports. “We don’t have the money to simply bail out Chicago. That’s not an option.”
Rauner spoke to the majority liberal council after being invited by Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Since taking office in January, Rauner has made labor and economic reforms a central focus of his agenda. He has argued laws all too often benefit special interest, like labor unions, at the expense of the local economy.
In February Rauner went after mandatory union dues and fees through an executive order and federal lawsuit. The executive order dictated that state agencies had to stop collecting mandatory union dues. The order however was recently overturned by a judge according to The State Journal-Register.
Rauner also has promoted the idea of right-to-work zones. The policy, which forbids unions from collecting forced dues, is normally seen as a states rights issue. However the idea of cities or counties deciding for themselves as grown popular recently with Warren County in Kentucky leading the way back in December.
While talking to the Chicago lawmakers, Rauner proposed the city become its own right-to-work zone to help improve labor and economic policies, WGNTV reports. An option that is unlikely to go far with Chicago’s lean to the left.
Nevertheless, studies have shown Chicago has been suffering economically. According to PNC Financial Services Group, the city has been lagging behind the rest of the country in several key areas.
“The market area’s unemployment rate saw little progress in 2013, and its labor force saw no growth over the prior year. Manufacturing employment reversed course in 2013 and has been in outright decline since the middle of last year,” a report from PNC detailed.
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