(The Center Square) – A proposed amendment to the Illinois constitution that some argue contradicts federal law governing labor relations has seen more financial support from supporters of the measure than from opponents.
Critics of Amendment 1 say the measure will unconstitutionally enshrine union powers in the Illinois Constitution, making it impossible for lawmakers to curb union powers and giving union contracts more weight than state law. Supporters of the amendment say it is in support of workers to secure certain collective bargaining rights.
Alisa Kaplan, executive director of Reform for Illinois, told The Center Square that union support for the measure has shown the most in political funding.
“The vast majority of that money, if not all the money for this, came from labor organizations like International Union of Operating Engineers, the Fight Back Fund, and various unions across various trades,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan shared insight into how much funding the pro-union side has collected and what they have used the money on.
“They spent about $4 million last quarter,” Kaplan said. “They spent most of it on media but also have about $3.5 million in cash. So by Illinois standards, it is not a huge amount of money but still very significant.”
According to Kaplan, the number is significant due to the lack of funding on the other side.
“I am somewhat surprised to say that I have not been able to find significant spending on the other side,” Kaplan said. “Maybe I missed it, or maybe something is going on with reporting, or maybe there is a lack of funding.”
It is still unclear what the pro-union group’s donations will result in, as there have been no TV ads or anything pushing the passage of the measure.
“The unions are spending money on media, this committee has spent $4 million, and that has to go somewhere,” Kaplan said. “Either they are producing commercials that we have not seen yet, or they’re saving their firepower for closer to the election.”
Amendment 1 is scheduled to be on the Nov. 8 ballot after a petition filed by parents and teachers from Chicago Public Schools to remove it from the ballot was blocked by a Sangamon County Judge last month.