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Illinois: Where Right to Work Can Mean Go to Jail

Illinois Policy Institute 24 October 2017 One Comment

SB 1905 is stunning in its severity.

It doesn’t just prohibit local Right-to-Work zones. It would hold criminally liable any official who violates that prohibition.


Specifically, the bill states:

Any officer, representative, director, elected official, or the like of any local government or political subdivision, or agent thereof who knowingly or willfully violates this Act, or who knowingly or willfully fails to comply with this Act, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

That means the bill equates Right to Work – an economic policy that has been adopted by the majority of states and is sought out by businesses like Toyota – with fairly serious crimes.

In Illinois, a Class A misdemeanor is the most serious of the misdemeanor crimes – in fact, it’s just one step down from a felony. It is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Furthermore, the penalty section is incredibly vague. Just who is criminally liable if a local Right-to-Work ordinance is enacted? If a village board approves an ordinance by a vote of 3-2, are all five members criminally liable, or only the three who voted for the ordinance? SB 1905 doesn’t specify.

Read more at Illinois Policy Institute

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