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Rauner’s War on Cops
You can occasionally spot him at campaign stops, wearing a “biker vest” over his designer dress shirt and slacks. Some of the many buttons affixed to his costume are from police organizations and departments.

Rauner likes to tout his support for law enforcement on the campaign trail, but a quick look at the facts show that he is perhaps the most anti-cop governor in state history.

Rauner Wants to Take Away Police Officers’ Voice at Work
Rauner has made no secret about his hatred for organizations that protect police and provide them legal assistance after critical incidents. He has called public sector labor organizations such as the Police Benevolent Protective Association and the Fraternal Order of Police “corrupt” and says that such police groups are in “conflict with taxpayers.”[i]

So, police officers are good enough to risk their life everyday to keep our communities safe, but when they want fair pay and legal protections, they are now “corrupt” and in conflict with the communities we serve?

In order to attack police, Rauner has proposed to eliminate collective bargaining rights at the local level.[ii] That means that instead of police officers having a seat at the table to negotiate their pay, benefits and issues affecting their safety- politicians would be able to dictate terms to police, and you can either accept it or turn in your badge.

Bruce Rauner Wants to Abolish Your Pension
Rauner likes to talk out of both sides of his mouth when discussing your retirement benefits. He will sometimes say that police pensions deserve “special consideration.” But then he will pursue policies that would rob you of your retirement security.

From Day One of his administration, Rauner has advocated for “permanent pension relief through a constitutional amendment.”[iii] One of the reasons that police unions have been able to protect your retirement benefits is because the Illinois Constitution prohibits politicians from eliminating or reducing your pension or retiree healthcare. Rauner’s proposal would remove this protection and open the floodgates to attacks on your benefits, as politicians would use Rauner’s plan to balance their budget on your back.

Even after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that your pension is protected under our constitution, Rauner submitted a state budget proposal seeking to attack pensions in order to pay for tax breaks for wealthy people like him. He has already signed legislation targeting police pensions if an officer switches departments.[iv]

Finally, Rauner has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups such as the Illinois Policy Institute that travel around the state lobbying county boards and city councils to abolish your pension and turn over your retirement benefits to Wall Street.[v] Clearly, he would rather his rich cronies at investment banks get paid instead of you having a stable and secure retirement.

Rauner Engineered a Budget Crisis to Steal Funds From Your Local Government
When Rauner was first running for governor, he promised to “shut down state government” in order to punish the state’s largest public sector worker organization, a union that represents thousands of correctional officers and law enforcement officers.[vi]

Rauner made good on his promise once he was elected. His responsibility as governor is to submit a balanced state budget. Instead he submitted an out-of-wack budget that relied on illegal cuts to your pension, which resulted in a three-year budget impasse.[vii]

The effects of these political games are still being felt. Police officers across the state took a hit at the bargaining table as state grants and rebates for local governments dried up. The budget shutdown also destroyed the funding of many non-profits and community service groups that serve at-risk populations. When such groups are allowed to fail, it is usually police officers that have to pick up the pieces as crime and poverty rise in their communities.

Rauner Instigated a Supreme Court Case That Will Make You Less Safe and Receive Less Pay
Rauner was the original plaintiff in the case of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a Supreme Court case which ruled that police and other public unions have to represent “free riders”- members of the bargaining unit who don’t pay union dues- with the same amount of resources and time that they spend representing you. Rauner pursued this case in order to weaken your voice at the bargaining table, and a group that he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to: the Liberty Justice Center, were the ones that provided lawyers to usher this case to the Supreme Court.

When this has been tried in other states the effects on employee pay and benefits have been devastating.  On average, you stand to make 27% less if the intended effects of this lawsuit come to pass.[viii] You could also pay twice as much for health insurance, if your employer continues to carry it all.[ix]

A Governor that Endangers Law Enforcement
Bruce Rauner flip-flops on any issue in order to serve his political goals. However, one topic he has been razor focused on: the destruction of the quality of life and dignity of public servants. Police and their supporters should see through Rauner’s rhetoric about “supporting police.” He has sought from day one to undermine your ability to bargain, your demands for respect in the workplace, and ultimately he has created a situation that it makes it more dangerous to work as a police officer in Illinois.

 


[i] http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-kadner-rauner-unions-st-0807-20150806-story.html

[ii] https://www2.illinois.gov/gov/documents/compiledpacket.pdf

[iii] Id.

[iv] https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20170824/rauner-signs-police-pension-reform-bill

[v] https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/small-government-think-tank-yields-big-bucks-for-nonprofits-leaders/

[vi] https://www.ibtimes.com/bruce-rauner-gop-candidate-illinois-governor-promises-government-shutdown-mass-firing-1648244

[vii] http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-bruce-rauner-budget-chief-met-20150828-story.html

[viii] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Household Data Annual Averages “Table 41. Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by union affiliation and selected characteristics,” 2014.

[ix] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employee Benefits in the United States—March 2015.” News Release.

 

 

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