SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rick Perry's call to "leave Illinois while there's still time" is ringing in the ears of every small business that bids on municipal work throughout Illinois. The Illinois House squeezed through another effort Thursday night that will allow the dwindling number of union companies to monopolize all bids for non-private sector jobs with the passage of a prevailing wage law that would apply to municipal level contracts.
Chambers of Commerce throughout the state opposed HB 924 because it reduces the competitive bidding process and would effectively preclude many local businesses from competing on a level playing field.
While bordering states are backing away from public sector union domination, Illinois would move in the opposite direction by requiring private contractors to provide apprenticeship training programs for journeymen employees entering the trades field, such as pipefitting or plumbing. Most small, non-union construction businesses do not have the funds to establish apprenticeship programs.
If HB 924 becomes law, small businesses will either be forced to offer training, bid only on non-government jobs or leave the state.
But the way the bill passed the Illinois House Thursday night was also controversial. Vote verification was called before the roll call, and when the vote reached only 61 for, State Rep. Reis called the House members names for verification. Several had appeared to have left the floor, and were called back. The vote stayed at 59 until State Rep Ann Williams got back on the floor to secure her Yes vote and make the required 60 votes needed to pass HB 924. See the video beginning at 45:00.
According to the verification call, Republican House members Bost, Bauer, McAuliffe, Bill Mitchell, Moffitt, Poe and Reboletti supported the bill.
HB 924 was sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman - Linda Chapa LaVia - Mike Smiddy - Keith Farnham - John D'Amico, Patrick J. Verschoore, Daniel V. Beiser, Brandon W. Phelps and Jerry F. Costello, II. Roll call coming ...
The discussion is on this Blueroomstream video, the second bill on the docket:
The roll call on HB 924 is as follows: