DECATUR, IL - While talking to college students at Decatur's Richland Community College Tuesday, Governor Bruce Rauner stirred controversy when he said he supports creating "employee empowerment zones" throughout Illinois.
Rauner, a Republican, hinted at "right to work zones" as one of the ideas he plans to share during his State of the State speech next Wednesday at the State Capitol. Illinois is a traditionally union-friendly state, and his comments are expected to stir resistance from unions and Democrats.
Rauner said the zones he was proposing would allow local communities to decide whether union membership should be a condition of employment in their area. He said the zones would help improve both competition and job growth.
He also emphasized that he was not advocating statewide "right to work" measures as passed in Indiana and other surrounding states.