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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Mazzochi: "I believe the inherent right to collective bargaining is protected by federal law"

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State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R - Elmhurst) explained her opposition to Amendment 1 during a Q&A session with North Cook News.

"I did not vote for the amendment because I was concerned it was going to be analogous to the pension clause on steroids in terms of constricting and restricting the ability of the state to function in regard to collective bargaining," Mazzochi said. "I believe the inherent right to collective bargaining is protected by federal law and this was not needed. I understand that the proponents are fearful that they will lose collective bargaining rights, but I believe there are other constitutional provisions that protect those rights along with federal law."

Mazzochi also stated that giving more power to union bosses is unnecessary because their power was what allowed Amendment 1 to get as far as it has. In addition, she expressed concerns that the amendment would cause property taxes to go up for most Illinoisans.

"Any time you restrict the flexibility of state and local government to bargain on any terms you are running the risk that costs are going to increase," she said. "When it comes to local government the concern is the amendment will significantly restrict their ability to bargain on certain issues."

According to Illinois Policy, families in the state are already facing a property tax increase of $2,100 per family over the course of the next four years. If Amendment 1 passes, the increased power given to union bosses could cause tax increases to get much higher. The amendment also expands on the topics that unions can bargain over. New bargaining points include "economic welfare" and "safety at work," which don't currently have solid definitions. Furthermore, Amendment 1 would give unions the power to strike indefinitely if their demands aren't met during negotiations. While neighboring states prohibit strikes for most government employees, Illinois is expanding on the ways in which unions can strike. The Chicago Teacher Unions has gone on strike once a year for the past three years, as well as in 2012.

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