SPRINGFIELD, IL – Today Americans for Prosperity – Illinois (AFP-IL) announced its support for SB 2988, legislation which will prohibit government unions from contributing campaign funds to the state constitutional officers with whom they negotiate their collective bargaining contracts. At a press conference with Senator Matt Murphy and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, AFP-IL State Director David From explained his support for the bill:
“Taxpayers should always take precedence over the demands of special interests – whether they be corporations or unions. Unfortunately, a loophole allows state officials to take large campaign contributions from the very government unions they sit across from at the negotiating table supposedly representing the interests of the taxpayers.”
A few years ago, in the wake of the Blagojevich scandals, state legislators and Gov. Quinn saw fit to put an end to “pay to play” deals by banning contractors with over $50,000 in state business from contributing to the state constitutional officer who oversees their contract.
But inexplicably this does not apply to government unions negotiating millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded contracts each year. In fact, right now the Governor’s Office is negotiating a massive contract with the AFSCME, the largest union representing Illinois state workers, and one of Gov. Quinn’s largest campaign contributors.
“The largest campaign contributors to many of Illinois’ statewide officials are the powerful government unions like SEIU, AFSCME, IEA and others. This loophole in our state’s finance laws allows these powerful special interests to be the largest campaign contributors to the very person who negotiates their contracts,” From continued.
Government employee unions have been the largest campaign contributors to Illinois politicians over the past decade. In the last gubernatorial election alone, Gov. Quinn received almost $5 million in contributions from these unions.
“SB 2988 would end this practice, so that our elected officials will represent the interests of the taxpayers in state contract negotiations, rather than those of powerful special interests.”
SB 2988 was introduced by Senator Matt Murphy (27th District).