Jacobs disappointed with legislators' action on local right-to-work laws
Dr. Paul Jacobs, a Carbondale optometrist who is running against Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) in the 115th District, is disappointed with recent efforts by the Illinois Legislature to penalize local leaders who try to set up right-to-work zones in their municipalities.
Senate Bill 1905 would have prohibited municipalities from creating their own right-to-work ordinances so workers would not be required to pay union dues. However, the proposal also had a provision to punish local leaders with fines and possible jail time if they tried to set up these right-to-work zones. The Senate voted to over-ride Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto but the vote to over-ride fell short in the House.
“It's a waste of taxpayer money,” Jacobs told the Carbondale Reporter on Nov. 23, pointing out that the right-to-work issue is currently going through the courts.
However, Jacobs said, he also believes that the bill was deliberately punitive in a political way.
“You've never had locally elected officials held liable like this,” Jacobs said. “Only the state of Illinois would come up with something this terrible.”
Jacobs characterized the legislation as political gamesmanship, saying Democrats in the Legislature wanted to get Republicans on record as going against local authorities.
in reality, he said, it's critically important to get Illinois jobs in any way possible.
“We want all the jobs,” Jacobs said. “I don't think it's a strict union or non-union thing … there's nothing wrong with making good, solid wages. How we get there – that's going to be the hard part.”
Instead, he said, SB1905 would make it a little bit harder to do business in a time when Illinois really can’t afford to turn away jobs. Jacobs said 1,100 corporations won't do business in Illinois because it has no right-to-work laws, unlike neighboring states.
Jacobs said if elected, he definitely wouldn't stay with the status quo because it's not working– he would work to make the state is more business-friendly, and be deliberate about policy.
“I would have to be certain that I could create jobs,” Jacobs said concerning future initiatives.
House District 115 covers all or part of Jackson, Jefferson, Washington, Perry and Union counties.