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What You Need To Know About Wednesday's Illinois House Votes

By Kate Shepherd in News on Sep 3, 2015 4:11PM

Photo credit: Ann Hilton Fisher

The Illinois House had a busy Wednesday that produced some victories and some losses for Gov. Bruce Rauner. We've recapped some of state lawmakers' biggest moves and the legislation that did and didn't go Rauner's way this week:

Rauner's biggest win was the House's failure to reverse his veto on union-backed legislation to aid contract negotiations, according to the Associated Press. Rauner and the state council of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have been negotiating on a new contract for months and the bill would have allowed either side to call for an independent arbitrator. It also would have prevented workers from striking and the government from locking out workers.

No Republicans voted to support the override and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin claimed it was a direct assault on the executive branch by House Democrats. Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) was the lone Republican to vote "present" on the override because his office received a few hundred calls from constituents who wanted him to support the override.

"It is encouraging that many legislators recognized the dire financial impact this legislation would have had on our state," Rauner said in statement.

Labor leaders blasted Rauner and the House for its failure to override.

"The governor’s ferocious and false attacks on this moderate and responsible bill clearly show he wants conflict, not compromise," Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a statement. "The governor's assault on this bill may have won the day but poisoned the well for legislators of both parties who want to work together responsibly to solve problems and serve the people of Illinois. It is clear that Governor Rauner will stop at nothing to carry out his scorched-earth agenda against working people, their rights and well-being."

House Democrats and Republicans managed to unite and reject Gov. Bruce Rauner's changes to a bill meant to reduce heroin abuse by a 105-5 vote, according to the Tribune. Rauner said he agreed with the legislation's goals but vetoed a measure requiring Medicaid to pay for addiction medication and therapy programs.

The bill's supporters argued that Rauner's veto was short sighted because the measure would end up saving the state money by keeping heroin addicts out of jail and emergency rooms.

"The amendatory veto was penny-wise and pound foolish," bill sponsor Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) told the Tribune. "Just as Illinois was ground zero for the heroin crisis, Illinois can be ground zero for the solution."

Legislation to restore state-subsidized child-care help for working low-income parents failed in the House by only one vote, according to the AP. Many families lost child-care when Rauner restricted Child Care Assistance Program eligibility on July 1 due to the budget crisis. Sponsor Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) kept the measure alive and changed its provisions. And State Rep. Jeanne Ives laid out her opposition to the bill in a somewhat tone-deaf rant on the debate floor Wednesday.

Last, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to spare people who receive state-subsidized at-home care from budget cuts.The bill allows people who already receive the services—mostly the elderly and disabled—to keep them while a new system for determining eligibility is developed.